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Guest Author: 
Diane M. Millis, PhD

 

The Lord often reveals what is better to the younger (Rule of Benedict 3.3)

Editor's Note -- We are delighted to announce a new SDI webinar led by Diane Millis. It's called "Narrative Circles - A New Approach to Group Spiritual Direction."  This is a rare full demonstration of the approach, and it goes right to the heart of the relationship between storytelling and spiritual companionship.  Learn more here.

“May I get a picture of the two of us?” a young woman asked me at the close of a recent conference.

“Of course!” I responded.  “First, please tell me your name,” I asked.

“I’m Jaleah,” she turned to me and said, “and I want you to know that you’ve opened my eyes so much to reflecting on my own story, because before coming to this conference I never thought I had a story. I thought people who went through serious calamities and adverse situations had stories, but me no.  It was your willingness to share your own story that changed my perspective.  It helped to think about how my story is relevant today, and what deeply, God is showing me.”

Guest Author: 
Teresa Blythe

Editor's Note: Teresa Blythe is one of the presenters in the 2018 SDI webinar series Making a Living as a Spiritual Director, which is now accessible in online recordings. This year's webinar series Making a Living as a Spiritual Companion 2 is also available online.

I'm often asked, “Can you make a living off spiritual direction?” The answer is not simple because, of course, it all depends on the person, the market and the philosophy. Spiritual Directors International offers two webinars on the subject (I contributed to the first one) and when you watch these, and I hope you do, you will get the long answer to your question.

I will attempt to give you the short answer here.

Guest Author: 
Janice L. Lundy, DMin

"The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of non-conviction . . . It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirits, the pit at the center, and rising hope."

Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

Being in your particular body may not be easy. You may have aches and pains, bumps and bulges, each a source of inner conflict. You may not feel at peace in your body, much less at home in it.

And, yet, in spiritual circles, the body is often spoken of as a beautiful resting place, a divine abode, a source of true wisdom. The Buddha himself said, “Your body is your temple, if you treat it like one.”

If this is true, how can we relate to our body in ways that will serve us well and enhance our spiritual well-being? What wisdom found through body awareness and care can we offer those we companion?

Guest Author: 
Carol Kortsch

 

Editor's note:  A remarkable SDI spiritual journey unfolds in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico in November, 2019. Carol Kortch will be co-leading the retreat, which we call "Journey to Wholeness." Here, Carol discusses some of the ways the desert can help us go deeper. Valerie Brown will co-lead the retreat with Carol.

 

 

  Pay Attention to Prickly Spines and Shadowy Edges

 

       

 

The desert often feels hostile to us humans. I adore wandering these lands like the whirling dervish soul I feel inside. A couple of hours walking in the desert around Ghost Ranch in New Mexico becomes a revealing conversation with darkness and light if I let my imagination float into the vast open spaces around me.

Guest Author: 
Participants at the SDI Conference in Bellevue, Washington

Keeping Hearts Open

 
Please watch this 7-minute video all the way through.
 
It will take you on a journey - into grief and towards healing.
 
Listen till the end. Through the black. Then wait a while in stillness.
 
Open your heart.
 
Yes, listen to these wise voices. They come from people participating in the Spiritual Directors International Conference, March 14-17, 2019, in Bellevue, Washington, USA.
Guest Author: 
Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell

Editor's note: Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell is a Christian spiritual director, life coach and educator. This is her strategy for building contemplative bridges between generations.

Is intergenerational spiritual formation possible in the 21st century?

Remember the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child?” Has the notion of village become lost in our contemporary culture? When I look around me, I see individuals struggling. People in the United States - where I make my home - pour out large amounts of energy striving to make ends meet while keeping stability in the household and completing daily to-do lists. Individualism looms as a dominant pattern for obtaining job satisfaction, self-worth, and bolstering a sense of accomplishment and knowledge through crowd-sourcing posted on social media. Often this preferred stance of the “self-made” person drives our personal seeking for God - or the ground of all being - overlooking generational wisdom.

Intergenerational faith formation has the potential to gift an individualized nation that is divided among race, socio-economic and political lines by creating villages. “Re-villaging” community creates opportunity for spiritual kinship to thrive through creativity, storytelling and mentoring. This leads to an embodied faith that is easily shared between generations and through stages of development.

Guest Author: 
Matt Whitney

Editor's note - Matt Whitney is an artist. If you've noticed the wonderful drawings in our publications, he's the one guiding the pencil. (There's one of his creations just below.) A true Renaissance man, Matt engages in many pursuits. As SDI's Visual Media and Technology Coordinator, he launched our podcast* this year. This post is his introduction to SDI Encounters, a free source of inspiration that we hope will become a gateway for people to discover spiritual companionship and share in our amazing community of listeners.

In my work at Spiritual Directors International (SDI) – I’m now recording and hosting a weekly podcast called SDI Encounters.

Guest Author: 
Janice Lundy, DMin

Editor's note: Jan Lundy and Jeanette Banashak will present our new 4-part webinar series "Spiritual Companionship for the Spiritually Independent" starting March 28, 2019. Here, she outlines her own journey to spiritual independence.

In recent years, I have come to claim myself as a “spiritually independent” person, not by birth