Well, hello there! I’m glad you found us! My name is Mandy Ryan; I like to go by Miria (that’s muh-ree-uh). Although the center has gone through a few name changes, first as the Divine Essence Spiritual Center and then as the Spark of Life Community before becoming Lotus Fire, the goal has remained the same throughout – to empower others to make the next steps in their lives so they may step forward into their most authentic life. I know what it’s like to feel alone, like no one on the planet understands you, and how easy it is to get stuck on the story we tell ourselves. I’m here to show you that YOU have the power to change that!! Every person that I’ve met on my journey shares a similar desire – to be seen for who they are, to speak their truth, and to walk the path that’s best for them without judgement or repression. The offerings through the Center are designed to promote personal empowerment and growth, to promote equality and community cohesion, to learn and understand our connections with the world around us, and to continue education for all from a spiritual perspective.
I would like to leave you with a few thoughts as you go about your day:
I HAVE FAITH IN YOU!
YOU ARE LOVED, NO MATTER WHAT!
~And~ WHAT IGNITES YOUR DIVINE SPARK? Find one ‘thing’ that ignites your divine spark (passion for life and creation) that catches your attention – even if it’s only for a moment. When you find that thing, use it as your starting point for the next step on your path, even if it’s just in that moment to start with. If you need help along the way, we are here for you – even if it is just to lend an ear. Have a blessed day!
Let us build community and personal empowerment together.
If you would like to learn more about how Lotus Fire Wellness & Empowerment came to be, please meet our staff below and feel free to read through our origin story!
Mandy (Miria) is a dedicated member of the alternative and spiritual communities in the Central Kansas area. Mandy is a healer, facilitator, and life-long learner. She started her path in alternative practices and healing in 2009 and has since obtained her Reiki Master certification in the Usui Reiki Ryoho system, coordinated several metaphysical fairs, facilitates learning-for-all workshops for mindfulness, empowerment, and spiritual growth, and became ordained through the Universal Life Church in July 2019.
She enjoys facilitating learning experiences and passing on tools for healthier living. Her goal in life is to learn as much as she can about as much as possible, and to assist others in gaining new perspectives and learning about their paths as well.
“Hi everyone! My name is Marian and I am finishing up my undergrad in Psychology at Kansas State University. I am planning on taking a gap year to focus on myself and to do things that resonate with me before applying to get my Master’s degree in counseling. I’ve been thinking about pursuing hypnotherapy but my options are still open. I’ve been looking to find a work environment and a community of people who share my interests in spirituality, personal growth, and alternative thinking and I happened to come across the Lotus Fire website! After attending one of the Zoom sessions, I immediately knew in my gut that I had found the community I was looking for. I’m so excited to start my journey here and to get to know the people in this amazing community!”
How Lotus Fire Wellness & Empowerment came to be….
Our story begins in 2004, when a rollover vehicle accident changed my life and the lives of those close to me. My three daughters and I were traveling to see my parents at Christmastime when it occurred. The cops called it a freak accident, as in the exact ‘right’ set of circumstances occurring in an order that created a specific outcome – meaning a “1” in “enter large number here” chance of happening.
My girls were 10 years, 8 years, and 2 weeks old at the time. My older daughters and I received multiple injuries, but my youngest daughter did not survive. She passed while I was still in the hospital, and I was not there to hold her as she crossed over.
After our return home and the funeral, we started the long journey of relearning how to live with the loss of our little one and what life looked like without her in it. At only two weeks old, she had already made an enormous impact in our life and her absence was overwhelming, in every sense of the word. It is hard to explain how much the heartache reflects in your arms – how ‘heavy’ they become when you know there should be a baby there. There were nights when I would listen for her breathing and not be able to sleep because I couldn’t hear her. We even had to rearrange the living room so I wouldn’t see the car seat that wasn’t actually there sitting in the chair. At times, it seemed like every thought and movement felt wrong because she was missing.
I will admit, I became an alcoholic for about a year and essentially “checked out” from the world around me. One day I drank enough that I probably should have been hospitalized and I didn’t feel the effects of it at all – the next day I resolved to quit drinking and to try to be more present in my life.
Over the next several years, I ‘worked’ every day to put the past behind me and move forward, but more often than not, it was a severe struggle just to get out of bed. I couldn’t walk through WalMart without crying if I had to pass the baby section. Hearing someone else’s baby cry would almost put me in hysterics, along with still feeling the physical response a woman feels when her newborn baby cries. I developed PTSD and a fear of being around others – seeing them with their small children or pregnant would send me spiraling with grief.
I believe the hardest part of the journey was that she was still alive and well in my head, and I would ‘see’ her growing just as she would have if she were still alive, having birthday parties, her playing with my sisters’ kids or running around the park with my older daughters, getting ready for her first day of school…. I eventually shut down all of my feelings as well, as it was easier than riding the roller coaster of emotion.
A few other traumatic occurrences happened between 2004 and 2009 that I will not list here out of respect, and finally came to a head when my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. My dad had raised me as a free thinker and a do-er, to be able to work out problems and find a good solution, and to be okay with the solution and learn from it if it was not the best possible one. He exemplified unconditional love and patience, and was always available to listen and hold space no matter what was going on in his life. By that time, I truly believed I could not handle anything else life had to throw at me. We didn’t know how long Dad would live, and as the oldest it would be up to me to help him handle the end of life decisions and assist with planning his funeral – but I knew I didn’t have the capacity to take it on at that moment.
I started soul-searching and realized that I had attempted on my own to change my perspectives and be more present with myself and those around me but I was not as successful as I wanted to be. I also realized that I had cut off my intuition completely (which had been a large part of my life until the accident), that being physically present was not the same as being mentally present, and that my husband and daughters had been suffering as well but didn’t want to “burden” me with their problems. Along with those observances, came the realization that I had not used my problem-solving skills that Dad taught me, that I had built my walls so big that nothing came in anymore which meant things were not getting out as well, that I had not properly grieved the loss of my daughter, and that I had not provided the support my family needed either so we could grow together. To be sure, I did my fair share of crying and raging and hiding; I went through all the stages but I had not faced it head-on so I could properly process all the feelings.
With that, came the understanding that I could not make these changes on my own – I would need someone to help me find the tools I needed to take the next step. I had no idea where to look, what questions to ask, or even what kind of help I needed. I started attending community events again and re-learned how to pay attention to those around me. At one of the events, another person asked someone the basics of doing energy work – how does one get started? I was fortunately close enough to overhear the conversation and inserted myself into it. Little did I know at the time it was exactly what I was looking for! I started to learn more about energy movement within the body, what tools were available to help me be centered, and how important spirituality can be in one’s life.
Along the way, I learned something from many others, even if they don’t realize that they were a catalyst in my growth and healing. Most of them became dear friends along the way! The most important take-away from my journey, learned from all of the people that I came in contact with, is that no matter how you are feeling, no matter what you are going through – there is someone out there that can lend a hand or an ear. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! I decided that I also wanted to be available to others, to assist them in becoming empowered to make the changes they need, to provide the tools and a safe space for their growth and learning, and to pay forward the kindnesses that I received. I firmly believe that my lesson from the accident was to learn and understand my life’s calling, and to make it happen.
Lotus Fire Wellness & Empowerment is the most recent name for the Spiritual Center that I’ve been working on since 2011. I started a Reiki practice and assisted a friend with a local spiritual center to learn more about what to offer and what a spiritual center ‘looks like’. When she moved, I took on running the center and continued the services and teachings. The PTSD is still noticeable sometimes and there are days where the world seems to be a little too much for me to handle. I can tell you that these days are few and far between, and I have learned either to work through it with the tools that I have at my disposal or to allow myself to feel whatever it is coming through and take some “me time” to process. Some of the important things I’ve learned are that no one is perfect (no matter how much they appear to be) and that NO ONE is required to have a good day all the time. Learning to honor your Self is so freeing!!
And the rest is history 🙂 I am exceedingly grateful for the path that I’ve found and I look forward to sharing it with you!
Quotes of the Day
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.Walt Disney
It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.J. K. Rowling
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.Dr. Seuss