We were thrilled to sit down with spiritual pioneer Jac O’Keeffe for our Winter 2019/20 issue recently. During our time together, we chatted about her awakening journey, what it means to live in integrity, owning your truth, and more. This is a sneak peek of the article we published in the magazine – pick up a copy or subscribe to read the full feature. You can also listen to our full interview on SoundCloud!
Rebel With Authenticity
We interview Jac O’Keeffe
by Aisling Cronin
Interviewer: Paul Congdon
Jac O’Keeffe is a spiritual teacher with a refreshingly down-to-earth approach. She was raised in rural Ireland, and studied theology and music in an attempt to understand God. After graduating in the 1980s, however, her studies left her disillusioned and a non-believer of organised religion and monotheism.
Turning her focus to issues of social inequality, she studied adult and community education, and began a successful career interweaving community development with the arts, eventually holding strategic, leadership positions at the national headquarters of the Arts Council of Ireland and Macra na Feirme. In 1997, however – when Jac was working as a freelance arts consultant – her sixth sense awakened, which dramatically changed her life. A busy practice in healing work developed within a short time, during which Jac offered private sessions and residential retreats.
We were thrilled to spend a morning with her recently, where she shared her amazing story and insights.
Can you take us through what led to a spiritual shift in your life?
Well, the first incident happened when I was an arts consultant, and I went away with my husband at the time, and another couple, for a weekend in Donegal. On the Sunday afternoon, I saw dead people hanging from the ceiling, and I thought, ‘I must be tripping, someone must have given me something!’ I wasn’t impressed at all. But of course, they hadn’t. At the time, I was a strong atheist. I think life had to show me something so dramatic and so far away from what I believed was acceptable, to really make me see that there was a lot more to life. It taught me to be less emphatic about what is true and what is not true. I opened up to a different vista of the world as something enormously complex.
I heard that you became something of a ghostbuster – is that true?
Yes, it is! I tend to be a full-on person – I’m either fully in or fully out – and I honour that, because that’s the only way to be. Certain things you can change in your personality, and certain things you can’t. I decided, ‘if I’m going to really embrace this new reality, heck – I’ve got to embrace it 24/7.’ I used to go into people’s houses and clear them of spooks, as I could see them. Sometimes, though, we can imagine things – we’re fabulously imaginative creatures – and we can manifest certain things that aren’t necessarily spooks at all. We love stories!
Our full interview with Jac is available on SoundCloud – click here to listen.
We highly recommend Jac’s new book: ‘How to Be a Spiritual Rebel: A Dogma-Free Guide to Breaking All the Rules and Finding Fearless Freedom.’ This book draws on spiritual practices and recent findings in neuroscience, helping you examine the psychological barriers that block your spiritual growth and keep you from embracing true liberation.