Have you ever wondered what God is “up to” in your life? Have you been discouraged thinking that you were alone in making decisions? Have you felt as though you were disjointed or scattered in your process of discerning what direction to take in your life’s journey? If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then I (Joy) encourage you to consider participating in the spiritual discipline of “spiritual direction” (also known as “spiritual life coaching” or “spiritual mentoring”).
In my own life, this is a form of spiritual community that has become very important to me through the years. The experience consists of meeting about once a month with my spiritual life coach. She begins with prayer to help us be mindful of the presence of Christ. I share my concerns and praises of whatever is on my mind. She listens with an open heart and pays attention with an extra set of ears to what or how the Holy Spirit may be directing me during our time together. She helps me be aware of what Christ may be inviting me to notice. Even if there is a time of silence within the session, we are in communion with each other and with Christ. We end the session with a simple prayer.
In the previous post I mentioned that one of the benefits of spiritual life coaching is how another Christian is able to help us hear and see how Christ shows up in our ordinary daily lives. Another benefit is that when I am consistent with the rhythm of meeting with my spiritual director/life coach, it is a very grounding experience for me.
In the same way that we go to the table for a rhythm of “3 meals a day” to gain sustenance for our physical bodies, we can also gain “soul sustenance” by setting aside time to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit with someone else on a regular rhythm.
Thomas Merton wrote, “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.”
As a spiritual life coach myself for a number of years, I have learned that I must keep the grounding rhythm of meeting with my own spiritual life coach. In this way, I will also pay attention to what the Holy Spirit has hidden in the depths of the “ground” of my own soul.