Rumi tell us that “Longing is the core of mystery, longing itself brings the cure.” That deep longing to connect to something beyond our everyday selves can be the force that moves us into the deeper and richer lives we’re meant to live. Following the longing is a way to find your own path to what gives your life meaning and purpose.
Our work together would involve sharing the sacred stories of your life while I listen and interact with you to bring forward the soul images that are wanting to arise and be known. The language of spirit and soul tends to be image and metaphor, often a little mysterious but rich with individual meaning that speaks just to you. I see my role as an Interfaith Spiritual director/companion as one of creating a sacred container of space and time where my clients can deeply explore the edges between their known lives and the lives they long to live. My job is to be a witness, support and companion for your spiritual journey, your job is to embark on the journey.
What is Spiritual Direction? Is It For Me?
Spiritual direction is an age old process of sitting with another to explore the deep questions of your life and spirituality. It is a way to discover and stay in tune with your own knowledge, wisdom and authentic connection to whatever you hold as Sacred. If you find yourself asking questions such as, “Who and/or what is the Divine, who and what am I in my depths, who and what is sacred in myself, others and all of life around me? How, when and where do I follow a spiritual path or how do I even find the energy to follow a path? What daily spiritual practices can foster that path for me? How can I best serve my people, what are the gifts that my soul wants me to be giving to the world?”, then spiritual direction may be for you. Some people meet with a director on an on-going monthly basis as one of their spiritual disciplines, keeping their relationship with Spirit alive and growing. Other people may meet with a director during times of specific discernment as they move through a transition time.
What To Expect
Together we will enter into spiritually intimate conversation through talk, deep imagery journeys, dream work, listening to your body and nature and mindfulness-based methods of soul encounter. I provide a welcoming heart, listening ears, and grounded presence to be a witness and guide to your explorations. I work from a space of relational mindfulness, and develop a relationship with you that encompasses deep listening, experiential exercises to deepen your knowing, being in nature, quiet, and slowness of being.
Sessions are held in my sacred space near Langley, WA. I believe exploring deep spiritual life is served well by quiet and time away from our everyday lives. My space here is a beautiful, quiet place that can facilitate your dropping into a deeper listening to your own story. It is a place where you can allow the sounds and sights of the natural world to sink in and slow you down enough to get in touch with your heart’s longings.
Individual sessions are one hour, and typically occur once a month, for a duration of four months (minimum) or more. The session will be similar to the “mini retreat” format below but in a more abbreviated format. Further time to work with what has arisen will be at home in between sessions and then shared when you return for the next session.
Individual “Mini Retreat”
The Individual “mini retreat” is a half-day (4 hour) experience that is intended for those who want to go deep with something specific or those who have a need to create a container away from their normal life where they can take the time to explore their depths. This also can occur monthly for a duration of four months (minimum) or more depending on your need.
The format of a “mini retreat” typically includes:
- Connect: Upon your arrival we take some time to center ourselves in silence then we will connect personally for a bit, listening to what your present experience is and sensing into what is wanting to be spoken or known more fully.
- Experience: Depending on what is arising I will offer various experiential ways for you to deepen into that knowing. It might be work with a dream image, a deep imagery journey to find a spiritual guide, sensing into what your body is communicating or other ways to find what your soul is saying to you.
- Time alone: After the experiential time you will have 2 hours alone to be with what has shown up and work with it, allow it to work with you or just be with it. You can wander the beach or woods here by my cottage. If you prefer being more still there is some inside space where you can be out of the weather but enjoy the view of the sea and mountains and bask in the quiet while you journal, do artwork, collage, movement, meditation or just rest for a few hours alone.
- Integration: We will complete the half-day by coming back together to share, and have witnessed by me, whatever has been moving within you to allow some integration of this experience before you head home. You may share what you experienced, any key learning that may have happened and perhaps how you could take that into your life and current spiritual journey.
This is a wonderful opportunity for those traveling a distance to meet with me. The journey can begin from the time you leave home! Turn off the cell phone and the radio even in the car as you journey here and allow yourself to just be. Allow silence and beauty to enter you in new ways. Let yourself be away from your everyday life for a half a day, give yourself the gift of time and space to follow your own longings. Give yourself enough quiet time that God/Spirit/Source/Soul can be heard.
Workshops and Group Sessions
I offer different workshops at various times and ongoing monthly group sessions for those who have participated in an introductory group.
April to June 2016
Tracking Synchronicity: A Tool for Soul Conversation
Monthly Continuation Groups
At the end of the 6 sessions participants will be offered the opportunity to be in a monthly continuation group facilitated by me if desired. Deep spiritual community is developed in the 6 sessions and most participants choose to continue together for a time.
I offer a 3 hour evening workshop called Imaging Your Spiritual Journey for groups and churches who wish to offer their members a new experience. The evening consists of a guided meditation to see what images speak of each individual’s spiritual journey throughout the years, followed by a time of collage work to put those images into a visual format and then sharing in the group what has arisen for each person. It is a good opportunity to experience my work in a one evening format as well as a deepening experience of individual and community spiritual life. If you have a group (at least 6) or congregation that you would like to bring this work to please contact me.
Women’s Group Retreats
In the planning stages is the possibility of established women’s groups of 6-8 who wish to deepen into their spiritual paths together coming up to Whidbey for a weekend retreat. I would format the activities of my 7 week group into a weekend experience. If you have a group who might be interested in this please contact me. I am in process of finding a nearby VRBO home that would be a good space to hold this retreat and would love to plan something like this if there is interest.
If this type of individual or group work calls to something in you, please contact me.
May you accept your longing
as divine urgency. May you know
the urgency with which God longs for you.
– John O’Donohue