Out of the Closet • Kelly Ingraham
We know it can be difficult to find manifestation expanders out there when the topic is still somewhat "taboo." So we're sharing this series as a platform for UNBLOCKERS who have manifested their list to act as humility expanders for those of you who may be struggling in your manifestation process. It's not all rainbows and unicorns when you're in the midst of THE WORK, but we're hoping these stories and journeys with their ups and downs will inspire you to continue building your trust muscle and never stop asking for what you deserve.
Meet Kelly Ingraham, behind Inner Light, a space in Connecticut for healing and support. This Aries client is near and dear to me. I watched her face her biggest fears, setbacks, and shadows so that she could set out and carve out her own dream career. I watched her manifest twin babies shortly after reading Spirit Babies. I've watched her spirtuality blossom and her heart continue to expand and expand from its already expansive place. Today she is the UNBLOCKER that shows you, regarless of the road you "were" programmed to go down, you can carve any path your soul is here to carve.
Upbringing and background?
I grew up in Darien, CT, a town outside of New York City in the affluent suburban area of Fairfield County. It is a beautiful, safe place to raise a family, but it is also very competitive and homogenous. When I was young I never felt quite at home in Darien. We lived in London for a few years while I was in elementary school, and although I think the school transitions were tough on me, London is a place where my soul has always felt at home. I went to Harvard for college and absolutely hated the social element. I ended up in a toxic social circle and had some very mean girl experiences with my female friendships. It was then that I started psychotherapy to cope, and my journey of introspection that eventually led me to Lacy’s work.
To give more background on my family, my parents are high school sweethearts who met in Catholic school in the suburbs outside Boston. Both descended from Irish immigrants, my father’s family much more recently, they did not come from money. My father was the first in his family to go to college. He also went to Harvard, led there in part by his incredible athleticism. Both my parents worked in finance in their twenties and my mom left the workforce after my sister was born to care for our family. My father worked his way up in the financial world and was CEO of a financial services company for more than ten years. I have a sister who is two years younger than me and a brother who is six years younger than me, both of whom I am very close to - although my sister and I fought like cats and dogs as kids. We had a really beautiful childhood, and my parents are deeply supportive and loving. I believe, even more so now that I am a parent, that we choose our parents, siblings, circumstances for a reason in this lifetime. Like everyone else, I absorbed programming from my parents, my childhood, my community, my friendships, and culture that are mine to work out over the course of this lifetime.
Thus far, my biggest challenges have been my self-worth, identity, and money and lack.
Describe where you were at in your life and worth when you first started this process?
Throughout my twenties, my biggest struggles were with my career path. I was completely blocked and stuck and could not figure out what to “do” with my life. I struggled with finding the “right” thing for me. My parents encouraged me to rethink finance (my first job was in corporate communications) or other corporate careers, encouraging me to take the GMAT, interviewing at banks and headhunting firms, but that wasn’t for me and their input confused me even more. My father, an optimist who always had told me that I controlled my own attitude and thus my own life, had me read a book called The Energy Bus. That’s when things started shifting for me. I did some introspection and decided that interior design was a career where I could be creative, work for myself, and make a good living. I worked at one great furniture company that treated me well, but then I left because I wanted to work directly for an interior designer. She absolutely terrorized me – looking back, I cannot believe I had such low self-worth to let someone treat me that way. I left there and was working for a friend who is an entrepreneur and jewelry designer.
I had always been very into all things on the “wellness” spectrum, and in late 2015 I began investing in my own self-care in preparation for my wedding that summer. I found Lacy during that time and followed her Formula as laid out in her blog posts, making my Lists, Journaling, and I got to the point where I wanted more and booked a session with her. Since then, I left my job, started my own interior design firm, then figured out my true purpose, and launched my dream business, Inner Light – a new concept in wellness that utilizes an infrared sauna spa & wellness boutique to promote self-care for our clients/customers. Over the past two years my self-worth has absolutely transformed, I have reconnected with a deep spirituality and become more aligned with my authentic self than ever before. Oh, and did I mention that I also had twin boys in December? It has been a wild ride and I credit Lacy and her process with catapulting me forward on this journey.
What were the biggest blocks that you discovered?
Initially, my biggest block was around career and money. I had deeply programmed conceptions of what a career was – it had to be a linear path, working for an established company or industry, be potentially very lucrative, involve back-breaking work and long hours, and overall be a struggle. Although my parents were financially successful and helped support me, they ingrained in us that we had to pursue careers where we could support ourselves, and our families and they emphasized established careers in arenas like finance. I had almost zero examples of people I knew who had pursued an entrepreneurial career doing what they loved and being very successful – financially or otherwise. It didn’t help that the standards for what was considered a “success” were so high in my family and community. My parents struggled when I was very young, and I picked up this lack mindset, and a fear that I would never have enough. It’s compounded by almost the opposite programming I also picked up – that you can’t have it all. Part of me has been afraid to achieve in my career, and be financially successful because I feel as though I have already been so fortunate in my life that I can’t ask for more. This block goes so deep that I have struggled with a fear that something in my life would be taken from me if I were to be successful in another area of life.
Biggest inner child wound?
Lacy has been a major factor in two of the most healing things I have ever done in my life, one was taking her suggestion to read the book Homecoming, and the other was completing her online Reparent workshop. Working through this material, I realized that no matter how amazing your parents are and how much they love you, everyone has inner child issues. This has been difficult for me to come to terms with as a new parent – acknowledging that no matter what I do to deeply love my children and encourage them to be the most whole, authentic Selves, that they too will have inner child wounds. We choose our parents and our programming for a reason.
My biggest inner child wound is self-esteem, identity, being seen.
From an early age, I learned to dim my light. Looking back, I can see that this was due to a variety of reasons and programming, from family, to school, to friends. I hit my rock bottom in college, when I had some very toxic friendships. I also went into college dating my first boyfriend, a British/French guy I met on my gap year, and my identity was very much wrapped up in him. So when we broke up, I was even more lost. I was essentially thrown out of my group of friends, who told me that I was not authentic, I was a copy-cat, I was not worthy of their love and being in their “group.” Now I think back and realize how insane it was that at age 20 I was ostracized for not having my identity set in stone. The competitive nature of the social environment at Harvard made that critical process of self-learning incredibly difficult for me. To be fair, I did lack a strong sense of identity, and I blamed myself for this for years. Forgiving myself has been a big part of healing this wound for me, in addition to working on my self-worth.
Biggest shadow self?
When I first did Shadow, the biggest issue that came up for me were my fears around lack of identity and authenticity – similar to my inner child wounds. As Lacy says, it all comes back to self-worth! Through all of my work over the last two years I have been able to heal this wound and step more into my power and authenticity. Writing this piece is a big part of it!
In fact, while writing this piece, a previously undiscovered shadow aspect came up for me - I am embarrassed of my desire for financial success. I felt greedy and that I am not deserving of money because my parents are financially successful. What I’ve learned from Lacy is money is just energy and we deserve as much of it as we want no matter why we want it. To understand this on an intellectual level is one thing, to internalize it and understand it subconsciously is another thing – one I’m still working on. Tools I’m using to work on this are practicing gratitude and focusing on love – how much I love what I do, bringing healing to people, how much love I give my babies. Most of all, trusting the universe that as I step into my power, authenticity, and healing that everything will follow! Including financial success.
Biggest setback along this process/ or most uncomfortable moments?
Launching my interior design business was frightening for me – it was the cliff I had to jump off and trust for my true calling and higher purpose to be let in. It was what Lacy calls the magic zone, I was in the unknown and pure trust. I also was being tested and needed to demonstrate my self-worth to the universe – I was still working on my self-worth and I did not pass a lot of these tests. I see that this was preparing me for the challenge of my true calling, opening Inner Light.
I had a deep knowing that my soul’s purpose wasn’t decorating, and I started putting on my manifestation lists my desire to know more of what my dharma was. Very quickly, I had the idea for Inner Light – it was literally a download from the universe that I should open an infrared sauna business. Inner Light was a calling for me, the name came to me immediately, the business plan flowed out of me, and I figured out each step one at a time. It was this kind of magnetic momentum – not that it wasn’t very hard and a lot of work, but it just, flowed. I took a loan from my father, found a space, began the planning & zoning process with the town, started construction, and opened July 21, 2017.
Another massively uncomfortable moment was when I found out I was pregnant with twins. We were not actively trying at the time – the “plan” was to get pregnant six or so months down the road, so even one baby would have been a surprise. Neither my husband nor I have twins in our families, and the thought had never crossed my mind, although I should have seen some of the signs (my best friends from college are twins, my husband’s best friend from childhood had just had twins, and other small hints). My initial reaction was absolute fear and anxiety, it was so intense and I was so ashamed of it. I felt out of control like my life was over, I didn’t see how I could open up my business (I had just signed my lease) and carry and care for these babies.
We went on a very healing (pre-planned) trip to Montana and Wyoming – places my soul feels so deeply at home. Here we told our very close friends that we were pregnant with twins, and their excitement and faith in us was medicine for both my husband and me. Now I can see that I needed to have two babies – it has grounded me in a way that I don’t think one baby would not have. It has forced me to slow down, drop my need for control and perfectionism, and live in this joyous state of flow that I now inhabit. I also deeply believe that these two babies are teaching me lessons in motherhood that I will share with other mothers – I feel a very strong call from the universe to work with and help new mamas.
What core wants were on your list for career, the space, team, press; etc? How did each show-up/manifest?
With the interior design business, I wasn’t able to manifest a lot of what I put on my lists. I wasn’t passing tests – I continued to take on clients that didn’t value me or pay me well because I didn’t say no to them. This was my low self-worth and fears about money and lack coming through, and the fact that, while I didn’t know it consciously, something even better – Inner Light – was just around the corner. Almost everything I put on my lists while creating Inner Light has come through – I have a beautiful space for the price I wanted, a great logo design for a good price, all the bureaucratic approvals I needed, a manager and team that embodies all the aspects I listed (intelligence, kindness, passion), the ability to balance my work and my motherhood, and an energy in our space and business of calming and healing.
I have extremely high hopes for Inner Light – I am manifesting multiple locations, big financial abundance, and eventually franchising it or selling it. We are doing very well and will be profitable in our first year, but the financial success that I see for the business has not come through yet. I am fortunate to have a loan from my father, so I do not have the same risk as other small business owners. I am aware that I have been blocking Inner Light and myself from the financial abundance I want to manifest due to my own ego and fears. As I said, part of me doesn’t think I deserve financial success because I have so many incredible gifts in my life and I also don’t think I am worthy of financial success because my parents were financially successful.
In the past few months, I’ve been able to realign and begin to move out of this fear. I have started to focus more on the purpose and mission. I have also received the download that I need to build Inner Light from the feminine and from joy, ease, and play vs. the masculine, numbers, goals, etc. I am starting to make these shifts and I am continuing to just trust. I can see that each thing on my list has manifested in divine timing and that anything that didn’t manifest was because something bigger was waiting to come through. This retrospect keeps me coming back to trust and love.
Who were your expanders and when/how did you realize that you were expanded enough?
Inner Light is different than any other business out there – our physical business is a boutique with self-care products and we have infrared saunas. Our mission is to be a safe space where our clients can come to discover and experience tools (i.e. the saunas, a skincare product, a crystal, a meditation class) that enable them to enhance their self-love and heal themselves. There were a few other infrared sauna places out there that I could look to – but it’s not about the saunas themselves at the end of the day. So my expanders have been Lacy, Amanda Chantal Bacon and Moon Juice, Paula Mallis of WMN Space, my friend Kristin’s business, WYLD Leadership. When I find expanders, it’s about their energy more than what’s on paper. I have also needed expanders who did their work without formal training, which is a spot of insecurity for me as my background is all over the place. Amanda Chantal Bacon became even more of an expander when Lacy told me she signed the lease for her space and the next day found out she was pregnant – I started construction on Inner Light within days of finding out I was pregnant.
How are you balancing work and the TWO babies that you manifested?
It was actually Lacy who said to me – you should keep in the back of your mind that once they are born, things might change in terms of how you manage working with being a mom. She was right – once they were born, I knew I wanted to be home more than I had anticipated. I also had a traumatic birth – I had pre-eclampsia – and this has made my healing journey very slow. Around two months post-partum I started letting go of my attachments and “should” around what a working mother looked like, what my healing journey looked like, and started to live life very day-to-day. I took baby-steps because I had to, and it ended up being the most incredible medicine for me. I accepted that my early motherhood journey was being home and present with the babies, breastfeeding, healing slowly. I had anticipated this shift may happen and during my pregnancy I worked with our manager to build an amazing team and system at Inner Light. I have shifted things around so that I can work in person a few days a week and do a lot from home. I am also a Projector in Human Design – I had a call with Jenna Zoe, and learning about HD has helped me embrace the fact that I need a lot of rest and I am not a hustler. I have learned to be super efficient with my time – I can get an incredible amount done in a couple of focused hours.
We all know that once our manifestations show up it doesn't mean happily ever after. What are you continuing to learn from each? How are you growing? What inner work has surfaced since?
Back in February, a couple of months post-partum, I received the download to start a blog and to be more vulnerable and open. The blog has helped me step into my authentic voice and power and I know that it is going to help Inner Light’s growth immensely. It has also become very clear to me that motherhood is a big part of my work in this lifetime - both being a mother to my twin boys and helping other mothers. It is no coincidence that many of Inner Light’s clients are mothers.
I continue to work on my blocks around financial abundance – letting go of any of the egoic motivation behind Inner Light and operating from my mission and purpose. I am working on making more space for meditation and quiet reflection. It regenerates me and it is where inspiration and wisdom comes through for me. But right now, a lot of the work for me is being gentle with myself. Giving myself a lot of grace. Even with the immense amount of help I have from my bad-ass post-partum doula we still work with and both of our families living nearby, twins are so much work. Breastfeeding is so much work. But it’s the greatest joy I have ever experienced. So as much as I can, I stay in this joy, stay in this moment, and let it all flow and trust.
What can we expect from you next, epic manifester?
With manifestation, I have always focused on my big dreams or internal soul-shifting aspects. I have found that the more general I keep my lists – no numbers, specific dates – and the more I put pure trust in the universe, the faster I manifest what I want. Right now I am manifesting that all the people who need healing find Inner Light and that the business grows into a second location. I am aware that there is more to my dharma, to my work, that involves Inner Light, being a guide and helping other mothers, and I am manifesting more discovery around this. In HD, Projectors are here as guides, and our mission is to find the system we understand the best and guide others in it. I can see myself learning more about Reiki - I have done level one), other healing modalities and motherhood - perhaps getting my certificate in lactation counseling or post-partum doula training. I am currently training in how to be a color coach – another modality for deep self-work like Lacy’s that has changed my life, in addition – and after I have completed training in August I would love to manifest my first few clients. I am also manifesting getting back into horseback riding and it is my dream to have a big farm where I have horses and use intuitive horse work as another form of healing.
Most importantly, I am deeply grateful for this beautiful life I have manifested. All of the self-work I have done over the past three or so years has been transformative – turning anxiety and low-self worth into authentic power, purpose and joy.