My Modern Spirituality Journey

JenniferWenzelPhotography-12 2 copy.jpg

Words by LaKay Cornell // Images by Jennifer Wenzel

On February 7, 2012, my friend Emily sent me an email: “this dude is so rad. and REFRESHING! a regular person like us (not a spiritual guru who has it all right) and he is hilarious. and young and urban/hip. check it. i thought of you and i thought of myself.”

She was referring to Jacob Sokol and his brand, Sensophy.  I had never read anything like this in my life.  Here was this guy – who had been crazy successful and decided to walk away, at 24, to find a more spiritual path. Why?  Because his life lacked enthusiasm.  Holy cow!  That’s a super-star right there.  He wasn’t looking for more money or more friends or a better house.  His life wasn’t missing a soul mate. He wasn’t feeling unsuccessful in his chosen career.  He was bored.

I was bored, too.  I was sitting at my soul-sucking job on a trading floor surrounded by sexism and homophobia on an hourly basis.  I had done all the work that I was required to do each day by 10am, but I wasn’t allowed to leave until 3pm.  So, while my colleagues read novels and watched internet TV, I read Sensophy. And I read the people he was linking out to.  And I read the people they linked out to. And I checked out my first Deepak book from the library…which, by the way, I promptly returned because I thought it was SO WEIRD!

All the while, I came up with a million excuses why this new life would work great for Jacob, but not for me.  In fact, when I shared his message with people, I would say things like, “If only I were 24 and had those options available…”


It wasn’t Jacob who told me I had to be all in all at once.  It was that inner mean girl (who I have named Blanche and could be a future podcast guest…).  She told me every day that I didn’t belong, wasn’t good enough, was too old, too fat, and too unsuccessful.  She reminded me constantly that Jacob would never even give me a second look if we met at a dinner party…that I wasn’t his tribe.

All Jacob said was, “Yo! You get to live life on your terms.” I’d been letting other people (& Blanche) give me the terms for so long that I wasn’t able to really hear him.  Still, every morning I read Jacob’s latest nuggets – equal parts graffiti artist, hip hop rhyme, and Buddha.  And I longed for the courage to live life on my terms as well as the self-awareness to even know what those terms were.

The thing I could never have realized at that point is that every day with every blog post, I was already changing.  Every time I thought differently – even for a millisecond – every time I shared his message or tried to look at life more positively, a miracle was happening and somewhere, high above, a champagne cork was popping.

But I wasn’t ready to know that truth yet.  I grew up in the evangelical church. My whole young life I was surrounded by people who saw the light, immediately became someone completely different, and then told everyone they met or saw about it. 

Four years after that first email and the months of exploration that followed, I saw Gabby Bernstein for the first time in New York City.  I was on the high of discovering a spirituality that made sense to me.  I felt like a part of me had been opened that I hadn’t felt in many years.  I was ready to be an evangelist for this new space of positive spirituality.

So I started trying to be perfect – to experience complete transformation.  I fought with myself about what that meant: Did I have to be sober like Gabby?  Did I need to become a full-fledged yogi?  Did I need to wear crystals all the time? Learn to read tarot? Start practicing A Course in Miracles?  And so, I did very little of anything. I continued to allow my anxiety to control my life and retreated further and further into my monkey mind.  It was actually not that different from how I felt when I used to read Jacob’s words and think, “If only I could do what he’s doing…”  I was still trying to mimic someone else’s life instead of create my own.

Until one day I thought, “The reason people say it’s all about the journey is because it is all a journey.  My calling is to live as a child of the light. And I have a whole life to work on doing that.  In fact, I HAVE been working on it – my whole life.”

You don’t have to walk away from your corporate job and start a retreat for badass life coaches in Bali to be a total spiritual rock star.  All you have to do is keep reading, keep trying, and keep searching.  More than that, my friends, do everything you can to remind yourself that every time you make a choice that is better for you and better for the world, it’s a miracle.  And miracles rock.


LaKay Cornell is a goddess. A #spiritjunkie. A single-mom. An entrepreneur. A finance guru. And a full on mistake-making human.  She's a true wanderlust and a modern boho.  She spends her days blending her search for Roots to keep her grounded and Wings to help her soar.   
Since 2012, she's been on a path to living her life in a more positive way, and loves to help fellow seekers see the humor and joy that abounds on their own path to enlightenment.

Religion | Church | Spirituality | Transformation