Viking Discernment

According to history and legend, the people of Iceland converted to Christianity in 1000 after their chieftains left the decision up to the “Lawspeaker,” their version of a one-man Supreme Court . His discernment method? Burrowing under his cloak for an entire 24 hours to think the matter through. At first read, it struck me [Read More…]

Placing Limits on Prayer

While reading the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book the other day I was stopped in my tracks.  In it, the writer says an alcoholic should never pray for himself or herself only, but should only pray to know God’s will and the strength to carry it out.  While I understand that addiction makes people self-centered, I [Read More…]

Spiritual, Religious or Adventure?

When a pilgrim begins the 800 kilometer trek along the legendary Camino de Santiago, they are asked to announce the purpose of their walk. Their choices are spiritual, religious or adventure. Which is a beautiful question to ask in spiritual direction since we are all on this pilgrimage called life. What is nature of your life’s [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…]

Cardinal Lessons in Discernment

I have not always been sure of what I wanted to do with my life, but I have an uncanny ability to know deep within what I do not want—especially after what you might call “defining moments” in my life. Lesson #1 – Don’t crawl under the holy robe Like the time I was a [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…]

Resting for Others

I’m resting for a weary world. Most people I know are overextended. Either because they can’t slow down, won’t or don’t know how. I figure in the grand balance of life, I must have been made to take breaks for them, because they sure aren’t taking them for themselves. Life is exhausting when you hold [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…]

7 Spiritual Steps to Finding our Life’s Work

Finding our way vocationally takes time, patience and prayer. Here are 7 steps spiritual directors suggest to to help you discern your life’s call. Pray daily for the path to be revealed. Cultivate a desire to know what God wants for your life. Ask God to help you be open to however God leads you. Use [Read More…]

Money Matters in Spiritual Direction

Never go to a spiritual director for financial advice. Not only would it be unethical for us to offer it, most of us would be pretty bad at it—it uses a whole different part of the brain. However, it is common for people to come to spiritual direction to discern how God is leading them to [Read More…]


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