Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice of meeting
one-to-one with a trained person to discuss one's spiritual life.
Also called spiritual accompaniment, it is a supportive,
contemplative process that helps people attend to the presence
of the divine within the whole of their lives, to connect and
grow in relationship with that Source, and respond creatively
to that discovery. It explores a deeper relationship with the
spiritual aspect of being human. It is open to everyone -
those following a particular spiritual path and those seeking.
Spiritual direction may be for you if you are:
Seeking a more contemplative approach to your life
At a crossroads or in a time of transition
Longing for space to uncover your own answers about the divine
Drifting or stuck in your spiritual path
Struggling with disappointments along the way
Wanting to explore new ways of praying
Feeling on the margins, or wounded by your spiritual community
Looking for a focussed means of growing your relationship with God.
Spiritual direction gives:
A safe non-judgmental place to explore questions and difficulties
Time for you
Resources to help you on your way.
Spiritual direction helps you to tend intentionally to the soul, and grow in inner freedom from things that are hindering you as you deepen in intimacy with God, self, others and creation. Indeed, you may find or rediscover what brings you energy and life.
I have particular experience in working with those struggling in some way in their spiritual journey, perhaps because of painful experience with their spiritual community, or distressing life experience, or confusing and troubling questions. These are particular times when talking with someone both skilled and sympathetic can be very valuable to help you find a way forward. Spiritual direction helps make sense of our thoughts and feelings about our spiritual life, welcoming questioning, confusion and not knowing, recognising in these difficult emotional experiences something deeper trying to find expression. Perhaps you are someone who no longer attends any form of gathered spiritual community but still would like a space in which to nurture following your particular spiritual path.
Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself, you will find a confidential and understanding space in which to authentically explore and deepen your journey to the One in whom you seek to live and move and have your being.
What typically happens in a spiritual direction session?
Our sessions together will last about an hour and happen at an interval to suit you - usually between every 1 to 3 months. They are a space for you to share and reflectively explore the movement of God in whatever of your life experience you bring. Mainly we talk, but sometimes people find helpful free art to express an intangible feeling or symbolism, or a meditation to explore something deep within. You simply come to a session as you are - it's the only real place to start. We may work with your day-to-day life, your night-time dreams, your fears, your longings, your struggles, your joys, your prayer. Life has many spiritual landscapes through which we journey. Wherever you find yourself, I seek to be present with you in your experience, and help you take stock to know what you really desire in your depths.
Our initial chat is complimentary for me to understand what you are looking for from spiritual direction and for you to see whether working with me is right. I choose to then work by donation, on a suggested income dependent sliding scale, as I believe no one should be turned away from spiritual direction through lack of means to pay.
Whatever your religious tradition or background, if you feel spiritual direction would be helpful for you then do get in touch with me.
Resources for the Spiritual Life
I have written more describing spiritual direction, and about the interface of spiritual direction and counselling, on my Reflections blog on the spiritual life.
This is a space where I aim to offer regular articles covering a variety of themes relevant to the spiritual journey, drawing on the growing and fruitful dialogue between spiritual direction and psychology. Particular topics I address are the relationship between our emotions and our spirituality, working with our Shadow, spiritual abuse, spiritual pathology and how to listen to and make sense of our dreams. I also post useful blogs offering helpful resources for the spiritual life such as information on types of retreat available, our images of God and how they can affect our spiritual journey, and articles on the spiritual life and prayer.
I also send out an occasional newsletter including links to recent articles I've written and other helpful resources for those working in spiritual accompaniment. If you would like to subscribe, you are very welcome. There's a subscription button at the bottom of any of my blog pages. You can also find a LinkedIn button on my contact page, or you are welcome to use the contact form, if you work in spiritual direction/ spirituality and would like to get in touch.
Two Chairs image consent & © ChrisWesselmanPhotography.com
"There is no place in my soul, no corner of my character, where God is not." Evelyn Underhill
''The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a person's life, to get behind the facade which one presents to the world, and to bring out one's inner spiritual freedom, one's inmost truth, which is what [Christians} call the likeness of Christ in one's soul.''
'Seeking guidance and direction will not necessarily yield an easy solution or an answer to the inner quest for meaning. Any teacher or director can only be a mirror reflecting a view, or sometimes an arrow pointing beyond itself... To receive spiritual direction is to recognise that God does not solve our problems or answer all our questions, but leads us closer to the mystery of our existence where all questions cease.'
'Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. All moments are key moments and life itself is grace.'