Although these days feel pretty extraordinary in their weirdness, Christians are actually deep into what is historically known as Ordinary Time. This period is the long season with no significant religious holidays until Advent, a time marked by the blessed lack of insistence that we focus on particular aspects of the Christian story and freedom to go (liturgically speaking) wherever we need to go! Being Ordinary I’ve always been more comfortable with Ordinary Time, and frankly, with being ordinary. When… Read more

When I was in training to become a spiritual director, the class was told not to even consider doing this work full time, as if it couldn’t be done. I took that as a challenge! Then I met people who were doing it full-time. Most of them were supported by their religious orders or an institution (a few churches hire full-time spiritual directors) but as years went by I began to meet people, like myself, who were making spiritual direction… Read more

Part of my task as a spiritual director these days is coming to terms with parts of myself that get in the way of inner growth. The part I find most disturbing is my Inner Donald Trump. As I work with my own spiritual director around archetypes (a pattern, model or type at play within our personality), I am aware of a part of myself that gets so angry at our President because it seems he can do whatever he… Read more

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me if they had only known about spiritual direction they would have started it long ago. Of course, certain populations, such as clergy and members of monastic orders have known about spiritual direction for ages. But the practice of exploring your spiritual path with a trained listener whose only desire is to help you grow in awareness of your understanding of God is for anyone who needs it—regardless of vocation… Read more

While going it alone can be peaceful, even then there are times we need a spiritual guide. Last week I intended to use the sacred spiral at the Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix as a labyrinth. I entered and began to walk the spiral clockwise because a native friend of mine convinced me that clockwise was the way of nature. My goal was to shed worries and fears moving into the depths of the spiral and feel empowered as… Read more

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I love the practice of spiritual direction so much. Because it’s not only my calling and livelihood, it’s a place of healing for me. Spiritual direction – at its best – is a wellness practice. It’s not usually an emergency visit (although at times it can be) nor is it about spending the hour complaining about one’s problems and how to fix them. Ultimately, it’s about taking time each month to open your… Read more

What happens when a person finds the evangelical Christianity they once were part of doesn’t fit for them anymore? They may seek out a nonjudgmental person to help them process the deconstruction of their religious or spiritual belief system. If the person—the new term is exvangelical—wants to stay within Christianity or still considers themselves spiritual, they may contact a spiritual director to work with. Finding the right spiritual director for the person in the midst of deconstruction is imperative. There are… Read more

It’s not just Hollywood, Silicon Valley or Congress where women are facing unwanted or abusive sexual attention. It’s #ChurchToo.[i] The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaign have a religious cousin known as #ChurchToo—women speaking out about a whole range of unwanted physical behavior from people (mostly men) in their churches. Quite a few women have left church completely as a result of the abuse. The stories we hear from women about groping, unwanted kissing, sexually suggestive remarks and gestures are stories of… Read more

From time to time, I will have guests post here on the subject of “what spiritual direction means to me.” Today’s post is from Karen Richter, the Director of Spiritual Formation at Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix. Have you ever had a new experience that somehow seems familiar? I have experienced 3 different kinds of being with people that elicit in me the same emotional and spiritual response. Savasana at the end of yoga. If you’re even a ‘once in a blue… Read more

From time to time, I will have guests post here on the subject of “what spiritual direction means to me.” Today’s post is from Sr. Janet Ackerman, OP of Henderson, NV. Ackerman is a Racine Dominican who serves as retreat facilitator and spiritual director.  Spiritual Direction over the years has been my lifeline, my help for character-building, my growth-producer and my path to the Divine.  In the process of spiritual direction, I have come to know that I don’t walk alone…. Read more

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