My name is Kathryn Harja. I am a certified Interfaith Spiritual Director trained at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, CA, a certified facilitator of the Hakomi method of mindfulness-based, somatic experiencing form of assisted self-study and a practitioner of the SoulCraft (Trademarked by Bill Plotkin) approach of finding our soul’s calling through nature-based practices. I have participated and trained in 3 different year long programs with two local women offering this type of work (NW SoulQuest), the most recent being their “Tending the Knowing Fields” training for group facilitators. I have led small groups for a number of years in various women’s sharing circles, 7 week circles of spiritual direction works and long weekend soul work gatherings. My work is a melding of these three streams of deep inquiry into our bodies’ and soul’s ways of speaking to us as we travel this journey called life.
Through my own life’s journey I have learned much about trials of faith, dark nights of the soul, intense longing for something more than our culture offers us and how to open and follow that longing to a new life. What I offer is a space for others to explore that for themselves; a resting place where they can slow down, be quiet and listen to the inner voices of their own lives.
I believe that we all have a longing for a life with meaning, purpose, connection, and joy – something that goes beyond the job that we have, the roles that we play, and the things that we have. It takes time and intention to find and live from that place. We spend much time and money seeking emotional health in our culture but very little attending to our spiritual health. Many are afraid to open themselves to a spiritual life as we have been taught that that means subscribing to a certain dogma or set of beliefs.
Spirituality to me is about so much more than religion. It is about connecting to something greater than ourselves, and that something is unique for each individual. Spirituality is our own way of being, acting, relating, thinking, and choosing in light of our ultimate values. For me it is about connecting to all of life and finding our oneness with it. It is also about finding our own place or soul; our own individual, unique gifts that we bring to life and that we can use to serve our people and our times. It is about awakening and becoming warriors for peace, compassion and loving-kindness in whatever ways we can, big or small.
I believe that the essence of all spiritual paths is love, they are just different ways to get there. Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, a Sufi teacher, says that “Love is the essence of the path and longing is the agent of transformation”. To me the longing is a river running in the deepest layers of our being, a desire for a life of beauty and joy, imbued with connection, spirit and depth. A desire for things like knowing the presence of God or our oneness with all, silence, connection to nature and each other, story, rites of passage, peace and initiation into our fuller selves.
The call for my work is from those who feel that longing. My ideal clients would be those who are willing and wanting to follow the longing, whatever that is for them; to follow it home to God, to themselves, to others. People who are wanting to give their spiritual life some time and space to breathe. Those who want to explore what has meaning for them, what gives their life purpose, what they feel the Divine and their soul are calling them to.
If you think you might be interested in working with me or would like more information, please contact me.