Stephanie Padilla, M.A. – South Central Denver
I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself and about how Belief-Shifting came to me and through me. But before I share the specifics of my story I want to say that I believe that all of our stories are ultimately the same story. We come into the mystery that is this world and we try to figure it out. We try to figure ourselves out. We try to figure out how to be and how not to be. We try to figure out right from wrong. We find the world to be fun, exciting and pleasurable and we also find it to be difficult, painful and scary. We try to figure out how to keep what we like and get get rid of what we don’t like. We seek love, comfort and companionship. We strive for success, validation and acceptance. We seek happiness, we search for meaning, we hope to be of worth to the world and to be of value to others. We look for connection and expansion and we hope to become more and to be part of something greater than just ourselves. This is my story and I am guessing it is yours too.
The particulars of my story are not especially remarkable. I was born November 12, 1965 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to a stay-at-home mother and a hard working father. My father worked his whole career, 38 years, for the JCPenney company. He worked his way up through the ranks and retired as a regional manager. He provided well for his family and took pride in helping others. My mother dedicated herself to taking care of me and my older brother. She worked to create a safe, well cared for and happy home for her family. There were some troubles in my family, as with any family. But very little of the circumstances of my life seemed to explain the crippling depression and anxiety that I began to experience starting at about age 13.
The depression and anxiety that I experienced were debilitating to my life in many, many, ways. My energy was always low, tasks that were simple for others took tremendous effort for me. Many things in life scared me, simple things like going to unfamiliar places or complaining about bad service or asking others for what I wanted or needed are just a few examples. And I felt guilty about almost everything. There was hardly any encounter in life that I didn’t wonder if I had done something wrong. Everyday, was an endless nightmare that I had to try my best to navigate. Nothing brought me happiness or joy. The darkness was endless, oppressive and overwhelming. I longed for an escape.
When I was in college, I began to try to find answers for my suffering. When I started my journey, I was not looking to become spiritual or to be enlightened or to find God. I simply wanted to feel happy. On this journey I went down many mainstream roads and a few not so mainstream roads to try to find my happiness. Here are just some of what I tried. I tried various types of psychological counseling, many anti-depressants, herbs, diets, mind-training, neurolinguistic programming (NLP), Psych-K, meditation, prayer, A Course in Miracles, various religions, studied non-dualistic thought (Eckhardt Tolle, David R. Hawkins M.D., Ph. D., Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Adyashanti, and a few others).
This searching took many years and produced many insights along the way. And while I now see life as an on-going journey of ups and downs, I no longer suffer from anxiety and depression. I am essentially happy. Life has its struggles and its problems, but I am contented. I still get scared sometimes, but I have found inner courage and strength and wisdom. I sometimes wish life were easier and didn’t hurt so much, but I have found peace within. I still find relationships challenging at times, but I know my true connection to Spirit which joins all of Life together, so I never feel truly alone anymore.
What I ultimately found on my journey was the truth of my essential nature. I found that my Spirit, our Spirit, is the source of happiness, peace and inner well-being. I found that it was my own controlling mind that was causing me to suffer. It was all the ways that I was consciously and sub-consciously demanding that Life be different than it is that caused my world to appear dark and miserable. It was my mind’s seeking that obscured the Love, Happiness and Joy that was right in front of me. I discovered that the only real answer to my misery was to surrender control to a Higher Power. But I also found that it was not sufficient to want to surrender in the conscious mind. I found that often true surrender required bringing up into conscious awareness the many parts of my mind that were operating below conscious awareness. This turns out to be a tricky business that must be handled with much Love, Compassion, Patience and Acceptance.
Belief-Shifting is a consolidation of all that I have learned. In all my searching and studies, I always had a very practical approach. I was clear that what I wanted was to feel happy. Therefore, anything that was helpful or useful to me in feeling better, I kept. And anything that was not useful or helpful, I let go of. It made no difference to me how many people or how much others believed in the ideas or the techniques. What mattered to me was if it made a practical difference to my experience. With this approach, I never retained all of the thoughts or ideas of any approach or philosophy that I encountered. I only kept what appeared to me to be helpful. In this way, I ended up creating my own system and philosophy. Of course, much of what occurs in my philosophy overlaps or follows closely with other teachings. But I have found that mine is a unique approach that has worked for me and has been helpful to many others that I have worked with.
Finally, while much of Belief-Shifting can be traced back to my study and experimentation with my own experiences and those of others I have worked with, I must also share a profound experience I had when I was 37 years old. At that time, I had not developed Belief-Shifting yet, but I had made many discoveries which had pulled me out of depression. I was working for the Colorado Department of Transportation and I took a two-week vacation, but just stayed in town to rest. I was standing in the front doorway of my townhouse watching the wind blow through the tree right outside my home, when a sudden shift in my awareness and perception of Life occurred. I could see the amazing radiance of Life Itself. It was everywhere and within everything. It was powerful and ever-present and yet it was unbelievably soft, yielding and accepting. It was Love. It was Joy. It was Everything. It filled me up. It completed me. There were really no words. I rarely talk about the experience because the attempt to describe it fails so spectacularly to come a tiny bit close to the effulgent nature of what Life really is.
I stayed in this state of awareness for about two-months before a more common state of consciousness returned. However, my consciousness has never returned to where it was before this experience. It was expanded and it wanted to continue to expand. This experience was the beginning of a sudden turn in my life. Just a few months later, I quit my job and shortly after that I began working with clients. I have felt the grace and guidance of this presence of Life ever since that experience. I feel that it has shown me where to look for answers and how to help others. I believe it is the true source of healing and that it has worked through me to bring Belief-Shifting into the world to help others receive healing and be relieved of the suffering caused by an active controlling mind.
I am Honored and Blessed to be in Life’s service.
Bobbie Wilson – Longmont, CO
Thank you for your interest in our website and Belief-Shifting. At first, I thought that in this bio I would tell you about all the things I had done in my life and how that qualified me, gave me permission, really, to offer myself to you as a Belief-Shifting practitioner. But a list of accomplishments and credentials doesn’t give you a sense of who I am and how I might be of help to you. So instead, I will tell you what has motivated me throughout my life and brought me to the place where I am now.
For much of my seventy-plus years I have searched for the essence of “me”. That has been the overall yearning since childhood. As a child, I defined myself as part of the family, the oldest of six children in a two parent, stay-at-home-mom family. We were deeply bound to the local evangelical church and its beliefs. And in trying to define myself, I had to figure out how God and others saw me, and how I was different relative to others. Thus, began the long search for ways to distinguish myself as unique and separate. As a young girl, I tried to be the best good little girl that I could be. This was a way to separate myself from my sometimes naughty and rebellious siblings. I accepted the religious teaching of my church and followed its practices. I learned to feel guilt when I did not meet the expectations of church and parents. I did not question.
In my teens, I began to question the values of my parents and the teachings of the church, which judged and separated “us” from “them”. How could a loving God not claim all of his creations, but instead condemn some to Hell? I was a good student and this logical contradiction was more that I was willing to accept. And so I determined to throw out all that I had been taught and the church and people who had taught me, and search for a bigger, better truth. This was another way of separating myself from my past and my family. There followed many years of striving for success in the world, which I attained to some degree. My truth during that period was that I thought I knew how the world worked and I could master navigating through life better than most. I had a successful career, a loving husband and a beautiful son. That philosophy of defining myself according to the world’s benchmark of success worked well. Until one day, it didn’t.
I did not realize that In all my effort to distinguish myself and define a separate “me”, I had left parts of myself hidden and forgotten. Relationships, connections, vulnerability, true intimacy all suffered. My heart was covered in layers of distancing defenses. I was known as “the ice queen”. I could not be hurt. And then I was. Cracks appeared in my well polished life plan. Relationships suffered and I suffered, feeling alone and insufficient to control things the way I had before. I had to stop and look at what was really happening. Success and control were not the answer. I still had not found my essence. I felt alone and isolated. Thankfully, Life found a way to save me from myself. It forced me to ask for help.
At this point in my life, I had no sense of my spiritual nature. As part of asking for help, I found twelve step programs. At first, I ignored the step about belief in a Higher Power. My old concept of God was that of a child’s: an old bearded man sitting in judgment of mankind, while professing love for those few who were chosen. I had to let go of my assumptions about God and christianity. I found, studied and taught A Course in Miracles for a number of years, which helped me free myself from old beliefs and open to the true nature of myself as spiritual being. God, to me, became an in dwelling spirit, a solace and Source of guidance and comfort. I began to realize the Oneness of all humanity with all that is.
After retiring, I became a life coach as a way to express my lifelong desire to help others. Then I met Stephanie Padilla, who was beginning to develop the Belief-Shifting modality. While life coaching work did provide some relief to my clients, it could not compare to the results that I saw with Belief-Shifting. I began to see her for sessions, which helped me tremendously to let go of guilt and fear. She asked me to train with her. I gratefully accepted, and that training continues to this day.
Belief-Shifting came into my life through grace. Over time, this gentle, yet powerful process enabled me to become aware of a lifetime of blocking the unconditional love that exists all around me and inside of me. The amazing healing that Belief-Shifting has given me personally is a non judgmental reconnection with family, God, everyone I meet and myself. It has helped me to open my heart to the experiences of others with compassion and to join with Life in all of its manifestations: joy, sadness, anger, love…. As each shift occurred, it opened me up to see where there were more deeply hidden fears, beliefs, judgments that were ready to be released. Until finally I have come to be living primarily from that place of deep, abiding, all encompassing, healing love, peace and freedom. That is what I am wanting for you
And I am blessed to help you find it for yourself through Belief-Shifting.
Kristin Cancilla, M.A. – Castle Rock, CO
My journey to becoming a Belief-Shifting practitioner began with a desire to help children and adults heal from the effects of traumatic abuse. I felt guided to the Mental Health & Counseling program at Denver Seminary, where I studied the different therapeutic models and techniques often used in traditional mental-health therapy. My time at seminary was transformative, not only in how I would later counsel clients, but also in my own personal and spiritual growth.
After obtaining a Master’s Degree in 2012, I began integrating play therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and equine-assisted therapy into my work. But I felt that something was missing from the work I was doing. I was regularly noticing a necessary connection between mental and spiritual well-being that wasn’t part of the traditional therapeutic models.
I was introduced to Stephanie’s Belief-Shifting practice through Stephanie’s work with two close friends. Seeing the transformations in the lives of those with whom Stephanie worked, I realized there was something very different about the Belief-Shifting model. When Stephanie approached me about becoming a Belief-Shifting practitioner, I was both excited and scared. Although I was honored by such an invitation, my feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness almost kept me from becoming part of the Belief-Shifting journey. Ironically, it was through Belief-Shifting itself that I was able to overcome the obstacles that stood in the way of becoming a Belief-Shifting practitioner. While I now helps clients find peace and healing through Belief-Shifting, I am also continually being healed and nurtured through the work.
Outside of work, I enjoy a daily practice of yoga and meditation. I am also an avid outdoors woman, spending much of my time alpine skiing, SCUBA diving, and cycling. I share my life with my partner, Marc, and our 13-year-old Golden Retriever, Meko.