Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Sandra Butler.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sandra. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
There was once a divorced mother living contently with her three amazing children when she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. So, at the very young age of 35 she began receiving medical treatment for the condition. By the time she turned 38 however, she was told that she had less than one year to live.
This divulgence evoked a myriad of feelings and emotions. It caused her to rethink her priorities and to seriously take into consideration the legacy she desired to leave for her children.
As you may have guessed, I am that mother. Motivated and inspired by that life changing revelation, I set about to develop a new approach to living- an approach that would center on building strong familial bonds, through the development of steadfast spirituality, fervent faith, and optimal optimism. Likewise, I was determined to make every day a memory that would provide comfort for my children in my absence.
That was nearly twenty years ago. The invaluable lesson I learned from that experience has been to dream beyond the imaginable, to hope beyond that which is visible, to believe beyond what is believable, and to seek understanding beyond that which is reasonable. This concept is now deeply ingrained in my spirit.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The life I have lived is not the life I envisioned in youth. Needless to say, divorce is never easy, and illness brings with it its own set of unique trials. Add single motherhood to the mix, and you have what one would think to be a recipe for disaster. Conversely, those three elements working in concert with their collective and individual mental, physical, and spiritual demands and concerns created an experience I would not wish upon an enemy. It was an experience nevertheless that motivated and inspired me to aspire to a higher level of mental, physical, and spiritual awareness.
Furthermore, I ascribe to the belief that every challenge, every trial, every tribulation in life work collectively, conjointly, and contiguously to mold us into our best self, in the same way that carefully molded clay becomes a beautiful sculpture.
Please tell us about Divine Manifestations Holistic Ministry.
When most people think of ministry, the first thing that comes to mind is church and/or religion. Although I do follow the Christian doctrine, Divine Manifestations Holistic Ministry exists in a realm that transcends traditional church and religion. This is a ministry that focuses on human holism: the growth, development, and equity of the mind, body, and spirit. Revelation, research, and observation have led me to the understanding that human beings are triune creatures fundamentally comprised of mind, body, and spirit. We function best when we learn to achieve balance/equity (and therefore holism) within the trinity. Additionally, it is believed that this equity facilitates holistic health.
It is the mission of Divine Manifestations Holistic Ministry to address the diverse holistic needs of individuals in search of personal growth and development by providing information, resources, and strategies that create pathways and opportunities for success; to identify gifts, talents and abilities; to encourage, inspire, motivate, and ultimately empower these individuals utilize these gifts,talents, and abilities to fulfill their divine purpose.
The most unique aspect of Divine Manifestations is that we are respectful of and embrace individual religious beliefs/practices. Simply stated, I am promoting spirituality as opposed to “selling’ religion. The ultimate goal in so doing is to foster a profound sense of connectivity that encourages and empowers individuals to establish and maintain holistic balance, in conjunction with or in the absence of traditional organized religious dogma.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First I wish to acknowledge the blessings of my ancestors. Through them I inherited a rich legacy of spirituality, charity, and compassion. Moreover, there are many family, friends, and relatives in addition to educators, as well my current pastor Reverend K. B. Pitchford, along with my spiritual mentors Sheryll Smith and Renee Anderson who have made positive contributions to my overall spiritual growth and development. I am appreciative to all who have blessed my life with their contributions but without the support of my family which includes my parents Henry and Isola Butler; biological siblings Henry, Jr. and Nicole, (as well as my adopted siblings); and my three wonderful children Schuyler, Alexandria and Audryana, I could never have survived those experiences that ultimately fueled my quest to achieve and encourage others to seek (and) achieve holism.
Additionally, nearly thirty years ago, I met a minister named Sheryll Smith who took me under her wings. Under her tutelage, I became increasingly enlightened (spiritually), thus gaining insight into the concept of man’s spiritual connectivity as it relates to quality of life. This was also the beginning of my understanding that spirituality precedes and supersedes religion.
In recent years I have studied with Dr. Doris Morgan of Life Builders Counseling Institute. Dr. Morgan helped me to bridge the gap between spirituality and intellect. This experience has enabled me to reach new dimensions in my personal spiritual growth while simultaneously enabling me to nurture others and encourage them to examine and explore their spirituality as a means to essentially effectuate equity of the mind, body and spirit.
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