Spiritual Direction in an Anxious World

Spiritual direction is not a cure for anxiety but anxiety frequently comes up as people share their life stories with a spiritual director. In those moments of anxiety—even panic—the response of a caring, compassionate and non-anxious spiritual director can make a difference. The Mayo Clinic describes anxiety as “intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear [Read More…]

Keeping Faith in the Midst of Fear

I’m going to get political here because, like a Cecily Strong character on Saturday Night Live said recently, “I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me, all right?” Yes, I’m afraid and it’s hard to keep the faith. Most of the people I know are afraid and many [Read More…]

Who are we doing all this for? God-talk on The Leftovers

The urge to speak with God face to face and understand great mysteries is a thread running through HBO’s third season of the dystopian religious drama “The Leftovers.” Last week, in episode 5 of the show’s final season, Episcopal priest Matt Jamison (played by Christopher Eccleston) finally gets a chance to unburden himself to God. Although [Read More…]

What Clergy Need to Know about Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is a clergyperson’s best friend. Deep listening and discernment enhance the life of a congregation and its leaders, so if you are clergy, I hope you consider how this spiritual practice can be used or expanded in your work. If you are a layperson, please pass this good news along to the clergy [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction for the Resistance

A young minister colleague came to me last week and said, “we really need spiritual direction for the resistance–time to reflect on what we are so passionate about.” The resistance of which my friend speaks is made up of humanists, interfaith religious leaders and progressive Christians all fighting the creeping authoritarianism of the Trump administration. [Read More…]

Why I Became a Spiritual Director

The practice of spiritual direction rescued me. I never felt I fit into the conservative church I grew up in, so I set out as a young adult to find a spiritual path that focused on God’s unconditional love of creation. The journey took considerable time. My new path had little to do with the [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and the Most Common Spiritual Block

If I were to poll spiritual directors and ask what is the most common concern people bring to direction, I’m guessing most would say “I want to pray more, but I just don’t.” Wanting to do something but not getting around to it is known as an action block. And with our sped-up, highly technological, [Read More…]

5 Ways Spiritual Direction Can Improve Your New Year

Have you included “getting spiritually grounded” on your list of goals for 2017? If so, you may find the practice of spiritual direction helpful. Spiritual direction is a contemplative look at what really matters in your life. Here are 5 ways spiritual direction can be helpful to you:   Spiritual direction provides a safe, confidential [Read More…]

Young Adults as Spiritual Directors

The field of spiritual direction harbors an unfortunate bias against young adults becoming spiritual directors. Some training programs will not consider anyone under 30 for admission and others reluctantly accept those in their 30’s but really believe that anyone under 40 doesn’t have enough life experience to be a spiritual director. The message is:  wait [Read More…]

Discernment as a Visioning Tool

Many churches and faith based organizations do good work in the present but have difficulty catching a vision for the next chapter in life, be that the next three months or the next three years. Change takes them by surprise, the congregation or group’s anxiety ratchets up, and fear about the future begins to drive decision-making. [Read More…]