Carol Kirkley is the 10th uplifting interview in the Grief and Rebirth Podcast’s Rebirth series, and she has an incredible story of grief and rebirth. Carol was raised in a fundamentalist religious home, where she was taught that she was worthless and could never be saved. Eventually the belief that she was fundamentally flawed to the core led to anorexia and suicide attempts until she voluntarily entered a mental hospital for a year. Carol’s healing and rebirth began with a spiritually transformative experience that awakened her to who she is at her core.
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Rebirth Series: Carol Kirkley – Flawed To The Core Until A Transformative Experience Awakened Her
This new Rebirth Series is inspired by a comment from my son made while I was on my healing journey after my precious husband died next to me in a tragic car accident. He said, “Mom, there has been nothing worse than seeing you in total despair and nothing better than seeing you able to have joy again.” From my heart, I wish this for each of you. Be sure to tune in.
Everyone, I hope this finds each of you so very well. I’m speaking to you from my studio in West Orange, New Jersey, gladden to welcome Carol Kirkley, who lives in what is called the Banana Belt of Chaffee County in Colorado. Carol is our eighth uplifting interview in the Rebirth Series, and she has a moving, incredible story of grief and rebirth to share with us. Carol was raised in a fundamentalist religious home where she was taught that she was worthless and could never be saved.
That belief that she was fundamentally flawed to the core led to anorexia, suicide attempts, and so much more that she voluntarily entered herself into a state mental hospital and stayed there for a year. The unexpected death of her only brother in May of 2020 added to Carol’s daunting life experiences until a spiritually transformative experience awakened her to who she is at her core and inspired her to work with the renowned healer, Debra Martin. This began Carol’s rebirth and transformation. I am so truly happy for Carol because she is now on her remarkable healing journey, which is helping her to find herself and redefine her life. Join me as I welcome Carol to the show with an open heart and much love.
Carol, a warm, heartfelt welcome to the show.
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
I’m so happy you are here also, Carol. You have such an amazing story and I think a lot of people are going to benefit from knowing your journey. Let’s begin with this question. Let’s start from the beginning. Please describe your childhood and your life until 2004 when you entered massage school at 47 years old.
I grew up in the fundamentalist church background like you were talking about. It was drilled or hammered into me about, “We needed to be saved and it needed to be done a certain way. We had to give our lives over to God.” It doesn’t sound too far off, but when it was drilled into you like you are wrong and sinful, you have to be saved or you won’t go to heaven. That was every single Sunday message over and over. I would go forward every other Sunday, if not every Sunday, to the altar and say, “I was sorry for my sins and please save me.” It wasn’t working.
What do you mean it wasn’t working?
I thought I don’t feel any different. It’s not taking. I’m still thin, dirt, and worthless. I felt like I couldn’t be saved because I couldn’t do it their way, but I kept trying.
Does that mean that those people were the only people in the world who were getting saved and everybody else was going down the tubes? It doesn’t make that much sense.
No. That’s what they taught. It was the only way to do it. That’s what our mission. It’s to go out and save people. We went in groups to witness the town I was raised in. I was on one of those for a while.
What was going on in your life when you entered the mental hospital? Tell us about that and then what was your journey until you got to massage school?
It wasn’t gelling and I couldn’t wrap myself around it. I thought I was supposed to clear up until in my mid-30s. In my mid-30s, my mind buckled under. I’m never going to make it in this life. I might as well leave. I’m a bother to everybody. I was failing at the job I was at. I decided that it wasn’t the first hospital, but it was the last one. I decided to volunteer there. It was a very good resting point. I don’t know how much I gained from it psychologically, but it was a very good rest.
It gave you a chance to separate. Did they comment on the theology that you’d been brought up with? Did they focus on those attitudes?
It wasn’t brought up. I went in under the assumption I was mentally insane or mentally screwed up. I didn’t know how else to go but mental. I didn’t know where else to go to have a mental crisis.
How did your family respond? How did they take you when you went to the mental hospital?
They tried to be as supportive as they could. They would not commit me as they asked them to. My parents said, “No way. We are not doing that to her.” She goes in, she goes in of her own accord, which was a blessing because then I didn’t have to stay. If I didn’t need to, I could get out. If I follow a certain way, I wasn’t forced medication that way. It was a blessing they didn’t. It felt like abandonment at that time but it was very beneficial that I entered on my own accord.
What was your path until you entered massage school? You were floundering over along until you found yourself at massage school.
I could feel my giftings starting to come alive. I was having dreams and visions. We called them prophecy in the church and I had those come to my awareness. I didn’t know what to do with them. I could cut myself off from the church and I couldn’t figure out what was these mystical experiences. I happened to be in Doreen Virtue’s. She did a podcast every Wednesday and I would sit there at work and listen to it and I thought, “I’m going to go and take her course.” That was the Angel Therapy Course. That was my very first step and then The Secret. Everybody says The Secret woke them up to the idea that there’s way more than they taught us.
You entered massage school at 47 years old. You were drawn to help people through physical therapy, helping them with their body patterns, and all.
It was so odd because I was not one that wanted to be touched. I didn’t care for it. I guess you’d go into things you need like psychotherapists go into. Not everybody is like that. I didn’t even care for massage. I had a few, but I thought, “Maybe this is a way that I can start my journey outward, start healing others, and not always focus on myself.”
It worked for you. You became very good. You had quite a good practice there, didn’t you?
All of a sudden, COVID happened. What did COVID do and then your brother’s death?
It was all in that same timeframe of 2020. They shut us down in mid-March. I went full-time at a retail grocery store for a few months until they decided we could be open again. When they opened the doors, the massage therapist could go back to work. I got a call from my dad that my brother had died. I ran back to Kansas where my family is from.
I went to his funeral and ran back and started cleaning my room. I started getting things in order. I never had a chance to grieve. The business never picked up. I went back to part-time in both jobs. It never took off until November 2021. I’m fighting a losing battle. I’m paying way more out than coming in. Not that my people didn’t want to come and see me. They wanted to, but there was so much scare around it. Practicality made me close it again.
Could you want to tell us a little bit about your brother’s unexpected death? Was it natural causes? Were you close to him? Was he also affected by your fundamentalist upbringing?
At my mom’s funeral in 2013, I sat next to him and they used that sermon at that funeral to do the salvation message again. I felt my brother next to me and I thought we were both going to die right then and there. I tried to talk to him about going to church with us the day before because it was something our family did as kids, and he wouldn’t go. They still used that sermon in her funeral message. I felt him withering. I felt him so depressed and dejected. I felt that way at one time. I had somehow risen above it and transcended it by that point, but I was not clear on that yet.
Was he a younger brother or an older brother?
He was about five years younger. He was the middle of five.
You couldn’t reach him. You were a little ahead of him in the healing part, but you couldn’t. Did he take his life or did he have something physical happen?
He had the toxicology report. It did show drugs in his system. They found them on the couch beside him or wherever he was. We don’t know. From what I got from talking to him, what I hear when I listened to what he said explaining that he didn’t mean to because he had been off of drugs. He only took what he used to take and his body wasn’t used to. It overdosed him. I don’t think he meant it.
What you are saying is what you hear from him. You are starting to study mediumship. You are starting to get messages and all. Talk about your life turning around. The seeds of your rebirth began with a course facilitated by the wonderful medium, Suzanne Giesemann who I have interviewed on the show. It was a wonderful interview. You could check out Suzanne on the show and then lead you to the renowned healer, Debra Martin. Could you please tell us about this part of your healing journey and how Debra helped you put the pieces of your life together, which began this profound process of awakening for you? Here we go. You are starting to blossom over here. Talk to us about your healing journey.
In Suzanne Giesemann’s podcast interviews, I don’t know which one I heard but she interviewed Brenda Baker, who’s now her spirit guide for mediumship. I heard that she had gotten a deep emotional healing from her background of being raised in a church and the trouble she had growing up in that family. I had similar things going on in my family and my ears perked up. I said, “I have got to figure out how to contact Debra Martin.” It took me a good six months even after that. I went to one of Suzanne Geisemann’s in-person, first of many, shedding your skin thinking that maybe I could shed this old skin and I’d be all right.
She mentioned Brenda Baker even more and showed the picture of them all with her hands on her heart when she was dying. I was crying through the whole workshop. I was crying so badly that I ran out of there. I ran out of there because I didn’t want anybody to see me crying so much. I hit a deer on the way in, which didn’t help. All of this stuff was like, “Come on, Carol. Get a grip. Get a picture here. Brenda is trying to contact you to talk to Debra Martin.” I finally got it in September of 2021 and contacted her. We had a healing session on September 20th.
Tell us about that. Would you share the healing session?
She’s got this picture that there are nails being driven into the back of my neck because of the religion that was teaching that over and over and how worthless. That’s how it was taken to me, how worthless I was. I had neck issues anyway, and as she was taking them out, I started to free up and stand up. Also, my feet were curling up like dead people’s feet.
I kid you not, they were backward and she felt those. She straightened out and they have straightened out so I can walk and stand in my power and being. Many layers and layers upon layers. I can’t even go into all of them right now. There are so many layers of gunk and stuff that she helped remove from my childhood even through the mental health issues.
I couldn’t even see how many layers because some of this stuff happened before I even had the language to know how to deal with what had happened between my parent. I won’t go into it, but it was something that shaped my entire life. She said, “You didn’t even have language for when this happened.” I said, “No. It was so early on. I don’t even remember it.” She also brought forth a great-grandmother that has been protecting me from this whole paradigm that I chose to come into with this family of religion. She hit the nail on the head. No pun intended.
No. It sounds like you had this experience and thank goodness, you found healing that you meant to transcend it and move on. When Debra started this profound process of awakening for you, what did she tell you about the next part of your path? Where are you now in your healing journey as you continue to find this amazing rebirth? Are you working towards special new goals? Are you still working with Debra?
I do communicate with her often through emails and Facebook. I sometimes go on there and say what happened to me on one of her posts. We are still in communication and even a new communication, which is Suzanne’s sidekick on that, which I am so thrilled with. She’s helped me so much. Suzanne had forwarded what had happened to me and Debra because she and Brenda are such good friends. Her and I have talked a lot over emails.
Right now, I’m thinking of going towards more energy-healing work. Physically, massage therapy was getting way too strenuous for me anyway at 64 years, almost 65 in 2022. I felt I was at the end of that anyway. I’m using this time to do a mundane job, which I’m having a lot of fun with. It’s amazing how you can have fun with a group of people. It’s a teamwork thing.
It’s also because of all the healing you have had. You are open to all these different people and you are radiating more light than you used to. You are in the present moment and enjoying it, right?
Very much so. It’s all a matter of trust in what’s next because I don’t know. I was sad when I had to shut my massage therapist down, but it was the best. It was not done against me. It was all for me. Now I’m looking at it as an opportunity. I’m starting to make intentions of where I would prefer to go, not near as much strenuous work on massage and energy healing. Maybe it’s part of the process of developing my own healing thing. I have tried several and they don’t gel with me. Maybe it’s not for me. That’s where I am and I’m using this time as a reprieve. It’s relieving to not have to be responsible for a business and a part-time job.
It’s all that responsibility. I understand that. Do you think you might go into mediumship at some point because if you are hearing your brother, that sounds like you have got the gift of clairvoyance?
It came up so much when I was in my twenties and then at the Angel Therapy Practitioner Course in the mediumship part, I could tell things that happened with others. It’s so easy for me but yet, I drew back from it so I could heal. I don’t know. I wanted to be able to hear for myself, to hear my mom, and to heal through that first. She crossed over in 2013. My brother in 2020. I wanted to learn how to communicate to spirit for myself first because I could do it for other people. It just wasn’t very comfortable for me. It was very comforting for them but for me, I was still too much outside of myself and I needed to go back in, draw it in, and heal that part of me where Debra came in before I could do that again. It is a possibility. I know that I was a raw talent person with it.
It’s something to be. I tell people if someone has a gift for athletics, music, or art. You have an intuitive gift and you can go to school to develop it more. I’m wondering, considering that you are hearing what your brother has to say, that’s wonderful that you are getting that so I think you have that gift within you. Now you are not sure where you are working towards but you are open to the possibilities. You are in the middle of your rebirth. You made a comment when you reached out to us for this Rebirth Series and you said you feel we are waking up to a new Earth. What’s that about, Carol? You are not the first person who said that.
I have heard this through other teachers I have been listening to or channelers that this is feeling like, “We are not going to have to repeat again and again. All of this abuse, coming back, figuring it out, and healing from abuse go around and around.” This is the lifetime where I come in and I told myself early on that this stops with me. I even said I’m not having children. This stops with me. I’m not doing that. I feel that our whole Earth is changing and developing towards that. We are all being pulled upward into this light and there’s more light on the planet. Look at all the indie ears that are coming out and sharing their stories and the STEs.
STE, so that people know what that means, is a Spiritually Transformative Experience and Near Death Experience is an NDE.
I feel everybody is changing. You will either get drugged or you will go willingly. I’m thinking, “I’m going willingly. I have been drugged enough.”
There’s a lot going on and they say that things have to get shaken out. We can all start our ascension which is what a lot of people are talking about. I was thrilled to hear you talking about that. From your own story about the importance of healing and rebirth, what would you like to share from your heart with our audience? Why should people go out of their way like you did?
Here you had a situation where your brother did not choose to heal and here you have a situation where you chose to heal. Why should people go out of their way to seek Debra Martin, the people who can help them, and rebirth their lives? You are very courageous. It takes a lot of courage to do what you are doing. Why should people do that? What is your tip for that? What is your message?
It’s so much damage to hang on to stuff that you don’t even know you are hanging onto. I thought I had dealt with so much in psychotherapy, but it wasn’t even scratching the surface. There was so much darkness inside. I didn’t know what to do with it except I was on the hard path toward it. I either get busy living or get busy dying. I was almost on that path that let’s get out of here.
Some of my massage therapist friends have not made it through this time. I thought this is a good time to go if I wanted to. I decided I want to see if I can transcend it. I wanted to heal. I wanted to feel that love. I was hearing all these indie stories. Anita Moorjani was the biggest one for me. How did they come back and heal all those cancers and live a new life?
I want to feel that before I die. That was a big pull for me with hearing all of these stories, hearing about Brenda’s story and how she was healed, and even Irene’s story. It’s crazy. All these stories, I have been plugging into and it is so worth it. I feel like years of that stuff have been shed. I don’t feel that darkness around me anymore like depression. I get sad sometimes, but not like that.
Sometimes if I feel the old days of victimhood, I was like, “It’s not about me. They are having a bad day. Say a prayer for them and send love instead.” That’s the practice where I’m working now. It is to be sending love and light. A lot of relationships have healed even within the time I have been there between me and others because of sending love and light.
That’s interesting. Do you want to talk about any of that?
There was a coworker. I don’t know if she will get on here ever, but there was a coworker I could not get along with and she was so getting on my nerves. She was up in my face and in my space. I got in the back in her face to set a boundary but then I went off and prayed. I say, “She must have had the worst childhood ever to be reacting this way. It must be equal to mine.”
If I’m picking up on it, that means we are marrying each other in some way. I went and prayed about it and then two weeks passed, and it was like nothing ever went on between us. Some of the others there that I have had difficulty with. I will say under my breath, “May you feel compassion. May your heart be at peace. May your sorrow and suffering be eased and my sorrow and suffering eased too.”
Do they calm down a little bit or change?
Yes. It’s amazing.
You change your vibe and they are reacting to the change of your vibe.
That is so cool. That’s so great. I always liken the importance and the relief of healing to like, you have got all your problems and all this stuff in a big backpack. You are carrying it around with you everywhere you go. It’s so heavy and it colors everything that you do. Through healing, you get to lay that backpack down and you are free. Would you identify with that? Would you say what it feels like?
That’s a good description of everything that’s happened, especially around the shoulders. I had so much. She healed so much with that. I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.
You put down your backpack. Now you have a whole different experience going on for you. Since you are in this new place, do you have a tip for everyone about how you found joy? What gives you joy? Are you finding joy in life?
It’s so amazing. I work at a local Walmart and I will say it. I don’t mind. I thought I would never do that. I have so much fun there. I’m posing little stuffies, “Please adopt us.” I’m having fun with other people I work with. It’s stressful at times because people can be people. I figure if they are going to be stressful, they are mirroring something already in me so let’s turn this around. The encounters that I have with people that go through my line and cashier are so amazing. Even my former clients are coming up to me and saying, “You seem so different to me now.” They are sad but this is not for them. This is for me. It’s amazing.
I still have a lot of close friends through clients here and it’s such a joy to see them and interact with them in a different light. It’s a good school because I was such an introvert. For me to be drawn out of this and be put on stage with every single person coming past me is so amazing. From being so sad, always offended, and defensive, it turns that around and be joyful. It’s shining my light. I go in with that intention anyway. It doesn’t always happen because I’m human too. That’s the whole gist of what I’m doing right now. I’m okay with it.
That is so wonderful. You are such a role model to people. I will bet you are bringing a lot of light into Walmart also when you are working because you are touching people’s lives and you are different.
I hope so.
I do believe that. Carol, I think you are an inspiration and I am very proud of you. I agree with you that spirit sees you and knows you and is aware of everything you have been through. I would not be at all surprised to learn that part of your new purpose is to share your story. It took a lot of courage to come on and share your story with us. To share your story and give people hope like you are doing now on the show. Thank you for being such an incredible inspiration. I thank you from my heart for this meaningful and special interview.
Here is a reminder to everyone. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and especially on YouTube. Like, subscribe, and hit notified, and make sure you will get inspiring new interviews like this one with Carol coming your way. Thank you so much. If you’d like to be part of this special Rebirth Series as Carol indicated to us that she was and she wanted to do, please send me an email to Hello@IreneWeinberg.com as I like to say to be continued, many blessings, and bye for now.
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