What No One Talks About When You Take a Leap of Faith

Sarah Petruno

Two years ago this week, I walked away from my old life.

I took the leap and left my mainstream life to jump two feet first into the world of spiritual practice.

I had just left a Ph.D. program, my teaching position had ended, and my apartment lease was up.

I followed the spiritual guidance, listened to my guides, and trusted that all would be taken care of through the transition away from my old life and into my new life.

I’d been practicing as a shaman, under a business alias, and part time while still teaching at the University I had been attending for my Ph.D. Now was the time for me to fully  make the move away from the University life and into shamanism.

With my husband’s support, we made the leap as a family, putting our 100% trust into the Universe that all would work out.

And it did work out, just not how we planned or hoped for it to work out.

Our leap of faith was a tumultuous one.

Many leaps of faith are, but no one talks about the dark parts. The scary parts. The parts that leave you crying in your bed, night after night, wondering if you’ve made a mistake.

Yeah. No one talks about that.

And now I’m talking about it.

Two years later, but I’m talking.

Truthfully, it took me about 2 years before I could reflect on that period of transition without shuddering in horror and not wanting to think about it.

I’ve talked about it on my YouTube channel, but I’ve never written it down.

It was a dark time for me.

Following that leap of faith, my family and I spent a little over 2 months homeless.

We stayed in our car, in campsites, and in one room cabins with no indoor plumbing in the middle of nowhere.

When we finally dug ourselves out, with the (huge) help of my sister and my mom, we landed ourselves in a house in a remote town. (A house that we later found out was a meth house for 12 years prior).

There were many nights and days spent worrying about where the money for food would come from. We went without heat and hot water in the winter when we couldn’t afford to fill the propane tank. And we carefully rationed our donated wood for the wood burning stove.

We spent over a year without furniture or a bed to sleep on, because we couldn’t afford it.

We lived on food stamps and government assistance.

All of this happened behind the scenes.

You didn’t see it. I didn’t talk about it.

But, I spent more nights than I’d care to admit wavering between crying hysterically and writing a blog post to keep the business going.

Between applying for jobs to go back to my old life, and snapping myself out of it to keep going.

Between wanting to throw it all away and giving myself a pep talk about why my medicine was needed.

You can bet I wanted to quit.

I wanted to quit SO. MANY. TIMES.  

As spiritual practitioners, there are times when most of us do.

The leap of faith, is, many times, more like a leap into the complete unknown of darkness.

Into the depths of your own soul, from which, you then have to pull yourself out of to build a new life – exactly how you like it.

You have to peel away all the layers that were plastered over you up until this point.

Every. Single. Layer has to come off when you make the spiritual leap.

You have to peel it all away, until you’re spiritually naked and crying, wanting to give up, and then somehow, from your deepest depths, you find what really drives you – and you keep going.

From within you, emerges your commitment, your reason for doing this, and your true motivations.

In a way, we can think of it like a test. A test of our faith and commitment to the path.

But it’s not so much a test, as it is a necessary evil to force you to harness your inner strength and understand your own power for overcoming adversity.

It ain’t easy.

But it’s normal.

There are names for it.

In shamanism, it’s called the Shamanic Death. In spiritual healing circles, the Dark Night of the Soul.

Wanting to give up is the part no one talks about.

Sometimes, after taking that leap of faith, trusting in the universe, and starting to build a new way – quitting seems like the best option.

Wanting to quit is normal. Wanting to turn around is the natural, evolved human response to facing perceived hardship – we recognize it as a potential danger.

We all experience it. You aren’t alone.

My experience of it will be different than your experience of it.

The only way out is to turn around and quit, or to pull yourself up, remember why you started, and motivate yourself to keep going.

Remember that you incarnated for a reason.

The world needs you and your medicine.



Last Updated: August 11, 2016