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Unveiling Your True Self: The 3 Phases of Coming out of the Spiritual Closet

From Pilot to Past-Life Regressionist by Katie Christensen

flight attendant sitting on a vintage airplane
Katie atop a Mustang

Ahh the wonderful life I could have had as an airline pilot. Although I know in my heart it had to be this way, there are certainly days I miss it. Days like today when I'm flipping through photos of me flying a B-17 Bomber, riding tandem in an open cockpit Ryan PT-22, learning aerobatics in a stunt plane, and flying solo across the country plotting my route on paper charts the same way Amelia Earnhardt did.

I cherish that chapter of my life. It's an anchor for me. Now that I'm freestyling up to my next belay point, when I lose my grip, miss the jump, or just need a break from climbing the mountain, it's always there to catch me. And trust me, there have been plenty of moments I unexpectedly needed it.

Although I hadn't realized it at the time, things were about to drastically change for me. While the person I was before starting a past-life regression business was still very compassionate, strong-willed, and intuitive, there were parts of myself I was denying and I hadn't even became aware of it until I entered Phase 1 of Coming out of the Spiritual Closet.

Phase 1: Being Real With Yourself that You Are In The Closet

This is the beautiful and equally terrifying phase where you come out to yourself. It all started with a premonition dream, expanded with receiving energy work remotely and ended with a past-life regression.

Up until this point, I knew psychics ran in my family and believed in life after death, but what I hadn't realized was just how much my life was being influenced by the subconscious fear that if I didn't have a bunch of credentials or titles behind my name nobody would respect me. This was the chapter of owning my psychic awakening.

girl on a corsair

Even though I was thousands of miles from my practitioner, I could feel my remote energy healing session hard at work. After the session, she shared that a lot had been cleared from a past-life; a life in which I was a master healer in my community but was burned at the stake. I was intrigued, but to be honest, not sure how much of it I believed. Turns out, I didn't have to believe or process any of it.

The next morning, I woke up different. I woke up seeing that even though I was making a nice life for myself as a pilot, I would never know the fullness of who I am unless I had the courage to leave the safety of the closet. In a span of 3 days, I went from planning on retiring with the airlines to realizing I had to leave my job if I ever wanted to become the person I came to this planet to be.

Several weeks later I decided to try to see the past-life myself. About halfway through my session it worked! I found it. In that life, no matter how hard I tried to explain there was a misunderstanding, there was nothing I could do to change the mind of those accusing me of being a witch. No matter how calm or rational I was, they feared my "evil" would get in their heads, gagged me, and the next thing I knew I was strapped way up high, smelling smoke. As soon as we switched into the traumatic death scene, my visuals stopped, I started coughing uncontrollably, and flung the covers off of my because my body started feeling HOT! It was all a demonstration of what they would do to others if they challenged their authority. They took my life to intimidate my community into compliance.

The trauma of that death was carried into this life. Not only did I have Raynaud's syndrome (which ironically gives you the sensation your fingers are burning off), lung and sinus issues, I also came in with subconscious programming I was completely oblivious to. I'd always had this unconscious belief that having a societally respected career was very important, as people would at least listen to what you have to say. The second part though, was that to survive, don't stand out too much, keep yourself "under the radar".

female pilot turned spiritual teacher open cockpit airplane

In my inner world, I only pursued careers that were societally acceptable, never considering anything that might be controversial. In my outer world, I was trying to hide from my partner's ex-wife who was a threat to our safety. Since there was a police report describing a time she attempted homicide, we were admitted into the Colorado Address Confidentiality Program for our protection. We spent a year regularly checking for tracking devices when picking up the kids, ensuring nobody followed us home, vetting anyone who came to our house. All this until one day the kids told us that their mom already knew where we lived, and promised them that if their dad and I moved again, she would find us. Despite our efforts to stay hidden, she found us.

Whether I liked it or not, life was no longer allowing me to hide on any level. I wasn't ready for my sense of safety to crumble, but for some reason we don't get a choice in the matter. When the time comes, life will throw at you whatever curveballs it wants to... ready or not.

Phase 2: Coming Out To People You Trust

This is the beautiful and terrifying phase where you start showing up more fully yourself with the people closest to you. For me, this phase began the moment I started owning my truth with others: I wasn't no longer going to utilize my commercial pilot certificate.

I had a whole team of female pilots behind me; supporting me, vouching for me, cheering me on. The community at Poplar Grove airport was my little slice of heaven. They admired me, and I admired them. Looking back on it, I'd never felt so supported, so a-part-of, and so invested in than I did when I became a part of that community. The last thing I wanted to do was lose that, disappoint them, and no longer belong. Admitting to them that I'd decided to give up on a future career in aviation to do something as taboo as past-life regressions, energy healing, psychic work was something that took me a long time to build up the courage to do.

Once you see the closet, you can never unsee it. The longer you stay in a situation where you knowingly allow yourself to be smaller than you really are, the more unsustainable life becomes.

After enough time, the life you've outgrown becomes suffocating, and with each restricted breath it becomes easier and easier to step into the unknown.

When I confessed my truth to my Ninety-Nines mentor (female pilot non-profit organization), that I was worried she'd feel like I'd wasted her time. She lovingly yelled at me for even entertaining that thought and reassured me that all she would never stop supporting me. We've stayed in contact to this day. A few months later, when I admitted to different mentor I wouldn't be following in her footsteps, the one that saw me as her prodigy in airline trauma response, she distanced herself from me and stopped talking. The disapproval I felt coming from her wasn't an expression of judgment, it was an expression of grief knowing that we'd no longer relate in the same way without our common interests connecting our lives.

This is the hard part, the fork in the road; the part where you have to let it go and move forward anyway because the most loving thing you can do is honor that you're on different journeys and let that be okay.
female pilot flying b-17

Even though our role in each other's lives had reached its completion, these people will always be very dear to me.

The more I let go of aviation, the more defined the path forward became in my business, Connected From Within. My fiancé was my biggest supporter, and my parents were right there behind him. My inner circle was so accepting that they couldn't fathom that others may not be. My loved ones would "out" me without realizing what they were doing. I remember one time my fiancé started sharing what felt like my very private spiritual beliefs with his devout Catholic parents. The whole time, I'm standing there feeling my palms sweat, nervousness climbing up my throat, and involuntary chatter freaking out in my head..."oh no... what is he doing? Is this really happening? Please stop talking, please stop talking, please stop talking! Would they notice if I snuck away right now? Yeah, they would. Change the subject, quick! Think of something. Literally anything. Why can't I think" all followed by a grieving phase of the social identity that you once knew dying before your very eyes.

As you can tell, I wasn't ready for it. That's when I realized I was still in hiding and had some work to do. Somehow, after enough of these moments where you're thrown into the deep end, you become desensitized enough to move into the final phase.

Phase 3: The Realization That You Can Never Closet Yourself Again

This is the phase where you no longer freak out inside when someone else exposes your hidden truth without your consent. One day I just realized it had been a long time since I had anxiety around people knowing what I did for a living. In this stage, I began to realize my fiancé's sharing my beliefs with his parents (as mentioned in Phase 2), was really him testing out the waters to see how safe it was for him to come out about his beliefs. The more authentic I became, the more I saw loved ones find the courage to show up fully themselves, too. Whether that meant quitting a job, leaving a culture, or leaving a relationship that didn't welcome all of who they are...

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” -- Andre Gide

aviatrix in front of a christen eagle

It's the final stage where the tests get stronger to gauge which parts of the curriculum still need repeating. And boy, have I been grilled.

My fiancé's and his family were all born in Poland. All the while I was going through these phases of coming out about the life path I was on, there seemed to be a rotation of family members who took turns judging, criticizing, and gossiping about me because what I was doing went against not just their religious beliefs, but their entire culture as well. What was even harder for them was seeing my fiancé change along with me. From their perspective, I was at the controls turning him against his family and his culture. At best, they let us be and wished us well. At it's worst, I was accused of "doing the devil's work" and having my fiancé "under hypnosis" to be with me. Disclaimer... I'm good, but not that good.

There were hundreds of times I felt like giving up. I was already beyond the limits of what I could handle with the danger of my partner's ex knowing where we sleep at night, the repeated injustice in the court system, and the general stress of trying to make it as a new business owner... and now this? Everything was coming at us, all at once, for two years straight. It was relentless and I was tired.

My existence was a problem for those who didn't understand their own power, just like in my past-life. I knew they had it all wrong, but regardless of who was right and who was wrong, they were uncomfortable around me and I didn't want that for them. It got so bad that I actually contemplated skipping my step-daughters birthday party so that the masses would be happier, and my step-daughter could have the tension-free birthday she deserved. Before making that decision to martyr myself, I talked to a friend who'd gone something similar many years ago. He explained that it had actually been a catalyst for him to see there were more options, and he didn't have to make himself smaller to accommodate others. That's when it all clicked for me!

Although I'd come out of hiding, I was far from empowered. This entire experience had been orchestrated to return my personal authority so I may again know myself as free, authentic, and powerful.

This was the final test to complete the last phase. The beautiful and equally challenging phase where you restore yourself to who you were before the closeted experience, before the trauma, before you learned how to compartmentalize your personality. This is the phase you master showing up with yourself, with your loved ones, and with the people that are triggered by you powerfully owning your truth.

Final Thoughts

I've found that preceding difficult journeys the Universe conspires to create moments of peace, support, and celebration. In retrospect, my aviation chapter was the calm before the storm and given what came after, I'm so grateful things tend to work out that way!

Shortly after the final lesson clicked for me, my mother-in-law called me up and interestingly enough, realized she just wants to be able to be herself, and me feel supported in being myself, like it was for us in the beginning. This time, I got it, and told her, "You know what, that's exactly what I want too. I think that's what all of this has been about. It's about helping me find my way back to that."

"I now know that that dark period of my life was my testing time. I was being given a chance if I wanted to. A chance to have a normal life, if that is what I chose. I now know that once a person makes a commitment then there is no turning back, or the person will never find happiness." -- Dolores Cannon
female pilot holding propeller after cross country solo flight

While not everything has come full circle and I'm still in the trenches helping the darkest places find light, I am much more me. Thank you for letting me share my aviation memories with you. In whichever way your True Self is trying to "come out", I hope this gives you the strength to move forward knowing you are not alone. It will be hard... but it will also be worth it!

Katie Christensen is a teacher on Insight Timer, a past-life regressionist, and hypnotist trained in Dolores Cannon's technique (QHHT) and Beyond Quantum Healing. She also hosts the Meetup Group Awakening Through Explorations of Consciousness. To find out more, visit


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