Origin of Umoya Institute

From Our Founder

In May of 2017 I woke up on my wedding anniversary, looking forward to a tranquil day ahead. The weather was perfect, work was going well that morning, and my husband and I had plans to celebrate that evening. I took a break around lunchtime, leaving my phone at my desk, and I came back to dozens of missed calls from unknown numbers. I was confused but felt immediately that something was very wrong. And it was.

My youngest brother had died from an unexplained sudden cardiac arrhythmia. He was 25.

If you’re here, you’ve probably lost someone too. Maybe it was sudden and unexpected. Maybe it wasn’t. In any case, you already know that the death of a loved one turns your whole world upside-down, and you would give just about anything for one more moment with that person. One more hug, one more chance to tell them you love them.

In the days following my brother’s physical departure, I started to experience visits from him in dreams and could recall the conversations and emotions on waking. I would also recognize what I knew to be signs from him during the daytime. I noticed that when I shared these experiences with others who’d lived through a loss of a loved one, the response was often a longing for a similar experience, but a quick rebuttal that “things like that just don’t happen to me” or “I wish I could do that but I’ve never been very spiritual.”

Hearing things like that felt like such a tragedy to me; these people had already experienced a devastating loss, and they were unknowingly subjecting themselves to another kind of loss by dismissing the possibility of connecting after death. I’ve always felt a strong connection to God, Spirit, Source, the Universe, whatever word you want to use, and I knew that everyone had access to the same connection, but it can get lost in the chaos of our physical world. I eventually recognized that an important part of my path is the work of supporting those who’ve experienced a loss in reconnecting to their true spiritual nature and to their departed loved ones. I started to refine my own spiritual practices to strengthen my connection, and eventually started teaching others to do the same.

Umoya Institute was founded from a calling to reconnect people in reliable, meaningful ways with their departed loved ones. Our loved ones are always reaching out to us, and we only need to learn to listen and receive their messages. We can learn to access this dialogue anytime, anywhere, and feel deeply connected to our loved ones who’ve transitioned.

At Umoya, we seek to heal the divide between the physical and eternal world, in a way that’s practical and accessible for people with “normal” lives. Often it seems like you have to choose between being either “fully woo-woo”, with crystals in your pocket and a medium on speed dial if you want to connect with your loved one, or a staunch “non-believer” who is afraid that if you even entertain the idea that your loved one might live on after death, people will either think you’re nuts, or you’ll end up feeling disappointed or betrayed if you try to connect.

It’s possible to have a meaningful connection with your departed loved ones, without always relying on an intermediary like a medium or past-life regression therapist, even if you’ve always believed you “just don’t have that ability” that others do. You can connect in dreams. You can learn to recognize signs. You can learn to have a dialogue in waking life, and hear your loved one’s voice again. You can learn to feel them with you, supporting you. You can learn to quiet your mind and let your intuition guide you to the messages your loved ones want you to hear. You can learn to live a meaningful, authentic life that honors your loved one’s memory.

We are committed to showing you the way.

As seen in:

Meaning of Umoya

I traveled to Africa 100 days after my brother’s passing, on a trip that had been planned a full year prior. While on safari I had a significant encounter with a leopard. Wild animals typically don’t approach the vehicles and don’t make eye contact with passengers, but this leopard walked in a straight line right up to the side of the vehicle where I sat. I was fascinated and not at all afraid – I knew something special was happening. We sat in silence, staring at one another for several minutes before the guide escorted us away, concerned that the leopard was behaving so strangely. 

As we drove off into the distance, I asked what the leopard’s name was (all of the big cats have names so they can be differentiated on game drives).


The Zulu word for Spirit.