Becoming’s Ryan Sterling discusses spirituality, tarot, incense, and self-exploration in The Pitch Questionnaire

Ryan Sterling

Sterling shows off one of Becoming’s books on nature magic. // Courtesy of Ryan Sterling

Ryan Sterling manages Becoming, a spiritual shop that opened on Pennsylvania Avenue May 4. Although its current look is a little minimalistic, new supplies are arriving all the time, and the friendly staff and comfortable sofa invite you to stay even after you’ve browsed through all its wares.

Sterling is passionate about helping others understand themselves, especially through connecting to the universe and spirituality. Becoming’s mission is to make resources on these topics available to the public in a setting where questions are welcome and there is a budding community to turn to for support. 

Social Handles: 

IG: @artisterling, @spiritcraeft 

Hometown: Ancient Egypt, maybe? Many lifetimes ago… (but really, MO is the 13th state I’ve lived in so my concept of hometown is more abstract than most)

Current neighborhood: South Hyde Park, KCMO 

The Pitch: How would you describe Becoming and its products? 

Ryan Sterling: Our purpose is to empower you on your journey to becoming your most authentic, intentional, and spiritual self. The products we carry are meant to inspire and connect you to your intuition.

We believe the items we surround ourselves with—that we bring into our homes and workplaces—affect our environment and the energy around us.  

What drew you to work in this kind of business? 

I’ve always wanted to help others. In college, my first major was psychology with the goal to become a therapist. Spirit had other ideas, and I find that I can better help others using divination and divine intuition than anything I was taught in school.

I have also always kept plants, rocks, and other bits of nature around me and am very connected to them. Any love for nature leads to an understanding and deep appreciation for our connectivity to the Earth, each other, and to Spirit. 

What does spirituality mean to you?

That very understanding we’re all connected to the same energy—I call it Spirit or The Source—others call it God, Goddess, or Higher Power. But spirituality is amorphous and may be easier described as what it is not. It is not religion. It is not abandoning what feeds your soul and assimilating into a set of rules defined by others.

Spirituality is a very personal journey of self-discovery, where religion is founded on congregating. Religious people are spiritual, but not all spiritual people are religious. Religion is man-made, and spirituality comes with a connection to the source. 

Do you have any hopes for what customers take away from your store?  

Becoming is a safe space to explore their curiosities. We welcome all to come and share their experiences or to quietly meditate on their personal goals. I think that is most apparent in the design of the space.

Keely Edgington, the owner, and curator of Becoming, devoted a large central area of the sales floor to a lounge where people are encouraged to sit and read or come together and share. It is so much more than a store.  

 Are there any misconceptions that you hope to address? 

Sure. There are those who believe that calling yourself new-age, spiritual, metaphysical, occultist, magician, an alchemist, a witch or witchy, and any other label associated with these is somehow wrong, evil, or against God and the natural order.

In my experience, these people tend to be concerned with personal enlightenment, connecting with the eternal source, and the well-being of all of society—not just those who agree with their belief systems. What’s so wrong with that?  

What is your favorite product that you sell and why? 

I am obsessed with the Sea Witch Botanical incense. It is all-natural and it has a long burn time of up to 40 minutes. Incense is an easy way to remain mindful as it focuses us on our breathing as the botanicals enhance our mood and improve the energy of our space. We also carry bundles of Mugwort, Cedar, and Palo Santo for cleansing and clearing.

If you had to choose a tarot card to represent you, what would it be?  

There is a simple way to use numerology to calculate your tarot birth card created with the numbers in your birth date. Tarot birth cards represent our potential and the qualities we draw upon to fulfill our spiritual mission.

Add the numbers in your birth date (MM + DD + YY + YY). Mine works out to four, which is the Emperor card paired with the Death card  (13 or one + three = four).

We are described as agents of change, here to restructure the world. We have clear insight into when a situation or way of operating no longer serves us and are not afraid of sweeping changes in order to set a new path. We are here to rebuild and lay down the foundations for something new to emerge.

How do you want Becoming to evolve over the next few years? 

I’d like for Becoming to truly be a space where community is built. Soon we’ll be offering classes, workshops, and consultations to help you deepen your mindfulness, communicate with your divine intuition, and connect with others on parallel paths. That’s truly what we are all about. 

What is your favorite part so far about working there? 

Working with Keely. We have become very close in a short period of time. I understand her vision, and we have the same goals—to help others see how good it can be when we are attuned to Spirit on our intended life path.

Few things are as satisfying as helping another person make a connection which helps them understand themselves better or see the Universe in a new light.

Categories: Questionnaire