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…]

5 Spiritual Discernment Questions for the Undecided Voter

With only a few days left before the 2016 Presidential election there are still those who have not yet decided whether to vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, third party candidates or a write-in candidate. So it’s time for an outline of 5 basic spiritual discernment questions—culled from the writings and teachings of Ignatius of [Read More…]

5 Ways to Detox Your Spirit from this Presidential Election

Feeling addicted to political news and commentary? If so you’re not alone.  You may need a spiritual detox from the ridiculous amount of information coming at you daily. You may need some help weaning yourself off watching your smartphone for breaking news. You probably need a break from clearing your email inbox of frantic requests [Read More…]

5 Ways Spiritual Direction Promotes Freedom

  Spiritual direction takes freedom very seriously. We want to feel free to be the person we were created to be–with as few internal fetters as possible, barriers such as negative self-talk, low self-esteem or dependencies. A spiritual director is trained to notice where you may not be as free as you want or need [Read More…]

Holding our Pain: A look at “The Gift of Hard Things” by Mark Yaconelli

This post is part of a roundtable discussion about the new book The Gift of Hard Things by Mark Yaconelli, now featured at the Patheos Book Club. It’s easy to be spiritually focused when life goes well for us. Not so easy when grief, suffering, pain and frustration fill our days. Spiritual director and storyteller [Read More…]

Stages of Freedom: Reflections on The Wolfpack

For one of the most jarring and accurate depictions of the stages of freedom, I recommend spending 89 minutes one day watching the documentary The Wolfpack (streaming now on Netflix).  It’s an exploration of the lives of six Angulo brothers—exceptionally bright and creative—who were homeschooled by their mother in their Lower East Side apartment and [Read More…]

Mysticism and Diversity: Lessons from a Van Flat

It took an experience of mysticism a few years ago for me to understand pluralism—the peaceful co-existence of different religions, theologies and spiritualities. Once, while walking down a tree-lined street on a sunny, warm day in Marin County, I had that mystical experience of “oneness” with the Holy—the kind of experience you cannot bring upon [Read More…]

Welcoming Difficult Feelings in Spiritual Direction

As soon as we accept how we really feel , healing and restoration can begin. But for the highly sensitive person (HSP), the amount of time it takes to move through difficult emotions can feel ridiculously long. I know because I am one (HSP) and I constantly look for ways to shorten the healing time. [Read More…]