Spiritual Direction

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see….

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see….

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change.
But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what
you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see….

There’s a thread you follow…

Sometimes it can feel like you’ve lost your thread.  At others, it can be hard to discern where the thread is leading.  And sometimes you just plain feel ill-equipped or scared to death to go where you think the thread is leading.

I get it.  I’ve been in all three places.  Lost my spark.  Sensing I’m on the right path, but not sure what’s next.  Sensing a call, and afraid of where it might lead, and that I might fail at it.

What I know for sure is that the thread was always there.  And I know that your thread is there too.  I also know that it can be helpful to travel with others – and that sometimes others can see our thread better than we can ourselves. 

Spiritual direction

(also known as spiritual companioning) can help you see your thread, keep it in sight, follow it (even when the way seems daunting), and keep hold of it – or find it again when it feels as if you have lost it.

In spiritual direction, I serve as a companion on your journey, a sounding board, and a mirror.  Our sessions can be a place of rest – a place where you can stop, look, and listen to where Life (God) is calling you and get support in stepping forward.

What I know is that Life is calling you forward to liveliness, vitality, contribution, and love.  To self-acceptance, healing, and grace.  To claiming the gifts you’ve been given and sharing them with the world, without depleting and exhausting yourself.

Spiritual direction

(also known as spiritual companioning) can help you see your thread, keep it in sight, follow it (even when the way seems daunting), and keep hold of it – or find it again when it feels as if you have lost it.

In spiritual direction, I serve as a companion on your journey, a sounding board, and a mirror.

Our sessions can be a place of rest – a place where you can stop, look, and listen to where Life (God) is calling you and get support in stepping forward.

What I know is that Life is calling you forward to liveliness, vitality, contribution, and love.  To self-acceptance, healing, and grace.  To claiming the gifts you’ve been given and sharing them with the world, without depleting and exhausting yourself.

Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul.

~ Thomas Merton

Already know you want to explore spiritual direction?  Contact me for a free, no pressure, no obligation phone consultation.  We’ll talk about what’s going on in your life, get to know one another a bit, and decide together whether spiritual direction might be useful at this point in your life.

What do people typically look for from spiritual direction?

In a nutshell, confidential support for their spiritual journey. Support that they are not getting from their church, their friends, or their family.

We define Christian spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.
~ William A. Barry, SJ and William J. Connolly, SJ

What can you expect from spiritual direction with Cheryl?

You don’t need this support – but it sure is supportive.  You will also likely find yourself both more at peace with yourself and moving toward a greater sense of boldness, clarity and connectedness to All-That-Is, which many call God.

FAQS

After an initial consultation and decision to proceed, we will meet regularly. Once a month is typical, but it could vary from once a week to once a quarter depending on your needs and goals. You may think of these as “spiritual check-ins,” and as a place to consider and sort out specific questions or situations that arise.

Change occurs over time…. While it is possible that one session will be all you want or need, most people find it supportive to meet regularly over a period of several months. In addition, regular meetings help you to keep your attention on where God may be moving in your life and how you might cooperate more fully with God.

We can meet by phone, in person or by video conference. We may talk, we may reflect on a piece of poetry or an image, or we may visualize or pray together. We will co-create our time together, ever attentive to the guidance of Spirit.

Don’t hesitate if you are unsure – contact me to schedule your free consultation. That way, you can get to know me, get to know more about spiritual direction and make an informed and prayerful decision about whether spiritual direction might be right for you.

I am grounded in the Christian tradition, Biblical narratives, and church traditions, and so are most of the people I work with – though some have left church and many are questioning church.  That said, I have learned a lot from the Yogic, Buddhist and Sufi traditions, and found that exposure to those traditions has led me to a deeper experience of my own faith.  I see more clearly each day how Oneness expresses itself in different ways to different people and at different points along the spiritual path. 

I will challenge you to clarify what you believe about yourself, about God, and about the world.  I am happy to discuss theology as a way to help you clarify what you believe, but I will not tell you what to believe or what I think you should believe. I will also challenge you to consider your lived experience of the Divine Presence at least as much as what you have been told about God and what you “think” about God.

That depends.  Some people feel more comfortable with a director from their own tradition or denomination, and others find themselves more able to speak freely with someone from outside their own circle.  In my own experience as both a director and directee, I have worked with people from both within and outside my own denomination.  I have found that finding a good “fit” is more important than the specific faith tradition a person comes from.

In case you are wondering, I am a life-long United Methodist (though that doesn’t mean I agree with every position of the church), and I have worked with Methodists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Presbyterians, and people who left church or have no faith tradition.

In general, therapy focuses on one’s mental health, while spiritual direction focuses on one’s relationship with the Divine.  In general, therapy often focuses on resolving the past, while spiritual direction focuses on moving forward with God, regardless of the past.  In general, therapy focuses on understanding, while spiritual direction focuses on relationship and discernment.  In general, therapy uses a medical model of an expert prescribing treatment for a patient, while spiritual direction uses a collaborative model in which the directee determines what she will bring to work on and the directee and director (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) determine jointly how they will work together. In general, therapy focuses on restoring mental health, while spiritual direction focuses on facilitating spiritual freedom and wholeness. 

If you are currently in therapy or counseling, you should get your therapist’s or counselor’s consent before starting spiritual direction. 

See also:  https://www.sdicompanions.org/what-is-spiritual-companionship/ (the chart at the bottom of the page compares various helping relationships).

In addition my practice of daily prayer, meditation and reading, I meet regularly with both an individual spiritual director and a peer supervision group.  In addition, I strive to adhere to the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct set forth by Spiritual Directors International. 

I offer a free consultation so that we can get to know one another and get a sense that we’d be a good fit.  If for any reason we don’t sense a fit, I can refer you to other spiritual directors or resources.

After that, I request a donation based on your income and the length and frequency of our meetings.  Your donation supports my work, including free and pro-bono work and this website.  The suggested donation is $25-$60, similar to what you would pay for therapy, bodywork or other personal services.  If this is truly out of your range, talk to me about what you can afford.  I don’t want cost to be a barrier for you. 

How do I get started?

Contact me for a free consultation.

You might also consider coming to one of my retreats or events.

Contact me for a
free consultation.

You might also consider coming to one of my
retreats or events.