What is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is the ancient practice of listening to the divine with an experienced guide.
You might be seeking intimacy with God, spiritual growth, clarity in life decisions, or even something you can’t quite name. Sometimes, it’s simply an unnamed longing that will not leave you alone.
Really deeply. From inside our lives, it can be difficult to see clearly. We get tangled in our thoughts and desires. Or, most insidiously, we get tangled in everything we thought we knew.
A spiritual director helps sink beneath those waves to the soul’s deepest center - to that spark of the divine - where stillness and silence speaks. They invite us to uncurl our clenched hands and welcome all the gifts life has to give to us, both the beautiful and the difficult.
Spiritual direction is designed to help you listen deeply.
The spiritual life has more to do with unlearning than it does with learning.
Paradoxes abound when you begin the serious pursuit of transformation: to ascend the heights of holiness, you must plummet the dark depths of your interior. (As a good friend of mine puts it, we fall on our butts all the way up the mountain!)
Instead of achieving perfection, we are broken apart into wholeness.
A spiritual director has been through some radical breaking apart.
The best directors have allowed their crucibles to melt them into compassionate, spacious people who are settled in their own skin. Their sufferings have hollowed them out so deeply that they can offer those caverns as a space to hold others.
How might spiritual direction help me?
Experience a profound sense of settledness in the midst of trying times
Live with radical authenticity, where your values and your choices consistently align
Experience connection with your body, with the earth, and with your fellow human being
Discover spiritual practices that exercise your areas
Put down your measuring stick of perfection and accept your wholeness
Hold onto hope when everything seems to be crumbling
Let go of the things that keep you from intimacy with God
Discern God's will for this stage of your life
How do you approach spiritual direction?
All our spiritual directors share 5 qualities in common:
The spiritual life is not something purely ethereal; it is tied up with burritos and paychecks and furry friends. What happens in our relationship with God must always be incarnate, or embodied, in our daily lives. No true growth happens if it doesn’t impact the way you speak to your partner or how you respond to that morning surge of anxiety. This comes from the guiding principle that there is nowhere that the divine is not.
Your body contains deep wisdom. When we become fluent in the language of our emotions, sensations, and tensions, we gain new insight. And when we practice with our bodies what our spirits know, we turn our actions into prayer.
Our priority in spiritual direction is to hold space for all that you are and all that you bring. This is the same interior space we open to the divine in our own spiritual practices: it is deeply sacred. We approach each session with curiosity, receptive to the divine spark in you.
Deep listening is key to spiritual direction. This is what helps us ask powerful questions, hear the movements underneath your words, be present with you in pain, offer helpful images and analogies, and even sprinkle in some mischief!
Trauma impacts our bodies, minds, and spirits. Because we all experience "little t" trauma - neglect, rejection, feeling unseen - it only makes sense that we need to all do our work of processing and integrating it. While most of us do not offer therapy, our spiritual direction is deeply grounded in neuroscience and psychology.
Lastly, it goes without saying that we are welcoming of all. We respect your path, regardless of its label, or lack thereof.
What to expect
You can meet with your spiritual director on the phone or via video conferencing (or in person, when possible!).
The goal of the call is to see if this spiritual director feels like the right fit. Ask the director as many questions as you like about their approach, their spiritual background, etc.
You may also wish to bring up a specific topic - a current question or concern of yours. This allows you to jump right into spiritual direction, and get a feel for the director’s style and presence.
The director may invite you to share about your background: spiritual path, family of origin, current life situation. Share as much or as little as you like.
A session lasts up to an hour and takes place about once a month. Some people choose to meet more or less frequently.
You may be invited to a minute of silence, to settle into presence.
You are invited to choose the topic (see above for ideas). Throughout the session, your spiritual director will hold the space through deep listening and thoughtful questions.
Your spiritual director may check in after a few sessions and ask for feedback. You are invited to regularly discern if this person is the best fit for the season of life you’re in. If not, you’re always welcome to switch!