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Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

Gazing at pink angels in a garden on the Isle of Iona, a bird landed on my backpack. Becoming even more still, I waited and wondered who had taken refuge over my right shoulder.

Unlike the blackbird’s visitation to Saint Kevin, who remained sufficiently still enough for it to create a nest in his outstretched praying palm, the bird that visited me stayed for only a few moments. In those few moments, eternity opened.

Guest Author: 
Susan Hill

On the third morning of my pilgrimage to Iona, I got a splinter from the piece of wood attached to my room key. Not a small, easily-extracted sliver—no, this was a big, ragged spear of wood that jammed its way into my fingertip and hurt enormously! In retrospect, it was only a quarter of an inch long, but it was quite painful!

Guest Author: 
Tim Mooney

A few days ago I was told a few things that were hard to hear. What was said was said kindly, without judgment or accusation, and spot on. Frankly, I thought I handled it pretty well; I was open to hearing it. Until later that morning, when I realized I was rehearsing the conversation over and over in my head, defending myself, and accusing the other. And then I felt it—shame.   

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann

I paid tribute to two giant trees last week: Maya Angelou and Pete Seeger. More than a thousand people gathered on Memorial Day to celebrate the life of folk singer and activist Pete Seeger who died earlier this year.

Guest Author: 
Kristen Hobby

On 31 May 2014, forty students aged nine and ten from Cornish College in Melbourne, Australia visited four local places of worship to learn about other faith traditions. At the Islamic mosque in Keysborough, the children discovered that Muslims pray five times per day and during Ramadan they are not permitted to eat or drink during the daylight hours.

Guest Author: 
Ruth Picha

I arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA both tired, and with mixed emotions. Mother Theresa’s plan for her nuns was to take an entire year off from their duties every four to five years to allow them to heal from the effects of their care-giving work. My plan was to take one week to heal.

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

What a blessing to live in an increasingly conscious, multi-faith world and to be involved in a global learning community as rich and vibrant as Spiritual Directors International. Unlike warring tribes, our diverse ministry and service of compassionate listening bolsters respect, reverence, peace, and justice. Granted spiritual direction is not a panacea, and yet there is more now than ever to appreciate about the spiritual guidance movement.

Guest Author: 
Phoebe Love

Although most spiritual direction takes place in a structured format, sometimes it happens in the moment, and I realize I am there to simply receive it. Yesterday was one of those days when I found myself encountering people in ordinary, everyday ways that could only be explained as a Divine connection.  

In the morning, my elderly neighbor, Tom, came out of his door, spotted me and walked over with his usual positive smile.

Guest Author: 
Doug Givan


This month marks ten years of sitting with my spiritual director soul searching, struggling, rejoicing, and listening for God. We have developed a great relationship with each other and share the gentle gift of grace. She knows me well and has done a wonderful job of helping me find God in my anxious, driven life. She is calm, centered, and relates well to me and to my life and to our God. She is an avid reader and often presents on the Enneagram and other topics—she is a gift.

Guest Author: 
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

In early fall 2013 I had the great privilege of leading a pilgrimage to the landscape of Hildegard of Bingen with my dear teaching partner, Betsey Beckman, and the wonderful folks at Spiritual Directors International.

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