I believe Spiritual Direction is a sacred space where another witnesses and walks alongside you on your spiritual journey and life with God. I believe offering a safe place where you can honestly reflect and ponder your life - in which I believe God is present and active in every moment - can help one to live in the fullness for which you were created.
I hope to offer Spiritual Direction as a place of deep listening that is non-judgmental, where we can explore and be curious together about your spiritual questions, challenges, noticing's and discoveries.
I hope to companion you while bringing along some knowledge of the spiritual life.
A Guiding Principle for Spiritual Companions...
“Listening is the highest form of hospitality - not to change people
but to offer them space where change can take place.”
— Henri Nouwen
A spiritual director is one who helps another to recognize and to follow the inspirations of grace in his life,
in order to arrive at the end to which God is leading him.
What happens in Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is often called the practice of Holy Listening.
It is an ancient ministry of the church inspired by Jesus and how He was attentive with compassion and present to others, by asking them questions to help them discover and notice the often unseen Kingdom of God.
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Cor. 4:18
It is the practice of one helping another awaken to and notice the presence, voice and movement of God in their life and spirit. And to encourage the discovery of a growing relationship thru Christ of freedom, contentment, love and purpose.
The Sessions have a flexible format:
An Opening Prayer and Check-in
Brief Silence for Listening
Sharing what is on your heart/presenting by directee/(that's you)
Reflective questions by director and Responses and reflections from you
Closing Prayer & Summary Thoughts
How often does one receive Spiritual Direction?
Mature Christ followers engage in spiritual direction on a regular basis their entire lives. Most receive direction monthly (or 6-8 weeks) and some might meet more often during a challenging season. Like going regularly to the gym or to routine doctor check ups - it is the consistent attendance to our spiritual lives that keeps them healthy.
"The goal of spiritual direction is spiritual formation -
the ever increasing capacity to live a spiritual life from the heart." Henri Nouwen
"Why Work with a Spiritual Director?
Spiritual Direction helps me give caring attention to my relationship with
God, accompanied by the prayerful presence of someone who helps me listen well to God.
They offer deep holy listening which helps people find and follow their own spiritual path
They ask insightful, open-ended questions that help people connect with their authentic selves
They allow space for stillness and silence to help people become aware of what is deep within them
They build trust and openness by being authentic, kind and open themselves
They do not proselytize, nor seek to influence or convince, but instead walk alongside people as they make their individual and unique spiritual journeys
They honor the free will and discernment of each human being, especially in spiritual matters
They offer a mirror to those they companion so they may see themselves as whole beings if they so choose
They help the people they accompany create a stronger relationship with self and others and God
Spiritual direction is not counseling.
Spiritual direction is not therapy.
Spiritual direction is not financial advice."
Sessions are usually an hour and our first brief meeting is complimentary, thereafter a fee is greatly appreciated.
Sessions are available in person in the Palatine & Wheaton, IL areas and via Zoom
I also have training in guiding retreatants through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, if you are needing a Spiritual Director while doing the retreat exercises.
I am a member of SDI, and follow their Code of Ethics.
How Does Spiritual Direction differ from other helping roles?
Adapted from Jeannette Bakke’s Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000. Pp. 28-29).
Quotes about Spiritual Direction
"T h e P r o c e s s o f D i r e c t i o n
Spiritual direction is sometimes referred to as spiritual guidance, spiritual friendship or spiritual companionship. It is an ongoing relationship in which you (the directee) seek to be attentive to your spiritual life by meeting with another person (the director) on a regular basis (approximately once a month), specifically for the purpose of becoming more attuned to God’s Presence in all of life.
Thus the primary focus of each meeting time is your relationship with God as it is reflected and challenged by all aspects of your life. You, the directee, assume responsibility for your life with God. This means that you are trying to be serious about some form of intentional prayer and reflection on the God-currents of everyday life and prayer. During the meeting of about one hour, both you and the director seek to enter a prayerful atmosphere where together you can be attentive to the Holy Spirit who is in fact the Real Director."
- The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation
"What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control."
Spiritual Direction (or What is it you Do?)
Maureen M. Martin (Reproduced with permission from the author)
Grounded in the presence of God’s abiding love,
We meet and talk about life and spirit,
God’s action and our response,
Finding God in ordinary living.
We breathe, We wonder, We are grateful, We pray.
In awe, I sit with another basking in the glow.
Working for God, I rest in compassion.
"The phrase 'spiritual direction' is a misnomer in a way, because it is not so much about being directed as it is about being open, receptive, aware of and responsive to the movement of the Spirit in the directee's life. It is understood that the Holy Spirit is the true Director, Advocate, or Counselor given to lead us into truth as we are able to bear it (John 15, 16). The director is present to assist the directee in paying attention to the invitations of the Holy Spirit and to support the directee in making a faithful response." - Ruth Haley Barton
There is a tradition of using the word "director", and this probably won't be changing soon, but truly God is the Director, and the Spiritual Director simply assists the seeker (the directee) who comes to uncover and discover the direction of God in their life. This enables the directee to see, claim, receive, own, and reverence God's voice, God's nudging, and God's acting, in such a way that it moves one into a genuine response of living from one's true self and all the plans God has for them.
"Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director
— the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul."
(Thomas Merton, Trappist monk)
"Spiritual Direction is helping others come into recognition of their true self. Spiritual Companions(Directors) simply help put up a mirror to our directee’s so that they can see who they already are. We are not teaching or imparting any great wisdom other than the ability to mirror what our directee’s already have within them....that longing for union with God"
Anil Singh-Molares, MTS
Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.”
-William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction
"Spiritual direction - also called spiritual companionship - explores a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human.
Spiritual direction has emerged in many contexts using language specific to particular cultural and spiritual traditions. Describing spiritual direction requires putting words to a process of fostering a transcendent experience that lies beyond all names and yet the experience longs to be articulated and made concrete in everyday living. It is easier to describe what spiritual direction does than what spiritual direction is. Our role is not to define spiritual direction, but to describe the experience.
Spiritual direction helps us learn how to live in peace, with compassion, promoting justice, as humble servants of that which lies beyond all names."
-Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv, former Executive Director, Spiritual Directors International
"Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping another person or group to awaken to the mystery of God in all of life, and to respond to that discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment."
-James Keegan, SJ, Roman Catholic
SACRED SPACE JUST FOR YOU!
A space of listening and gentle guidance, developed just for your specific needs and goals.
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Hear The Voice of God With More Confidence
Reflective Listening and Discernment Skills
Discipleship, Becoming More Like Christ
Guidance in Traditional Christian Spiritual Practices
Spiritual Companionship, Noticing Where God is in Your Everyday Life
Learning the Art of Being Fully Present
Clarifying Personal Beliefs and Values
Finding Priorities to Manage Time Schedules
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Opportunities for Healing and Growth
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is so close to being loved
that for the average person,
they are almost indistinguishable.”
― David Augsburger