Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is an ancient discipline of sitting with someone exploring the invitations and resistances in their spiritual life. The Director actually directs nothing. S/he sits with the Seeker, holding the stories offered with reverence and respect, responding with hard questions and observations. There is no judgement, no criticism, no doctrinal imposition. 

 

When I sit with people in spiritual direction we begin meditatively with poetry, breathing, music, or some prayerful guided imagery. The Seeker introduces the topic and guides the conversation while I listen deeply to what is said and not said, watching the body for additional information. Sometimes I give homework to deepen the discerning experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of the kinds of conversations opened to me include:

  • Dissatisfaction with faith communities of origin and struggle to continue to belong in their cherished communities;

  • Feelings of  “not fitting” any more as theology and ways of being in the world change;

  • Vocational discernment, often around how to “do ministry,” either sacramental or foundational;

  • Dealing with issues of aging, illness, caregiving, mortality, and mental illness;

  • Distress at the condition of the world, the political scene, environmental crisis;

  • How to be at peace in times of conflict within faith, family, or work institutions;

  • Navigating major shifts in theology and complete loss of faith;

  • Contemplative parenting and grand parenting;

  • The pain and frustration of women rejected by the church, whose gifts are either taken for granted (read: volunteers welcome but we won’t pay you) or summarily dismissed;

  • Shifting sense of self approaching or after retirement;

  • Creating new structures of service to the world rising from local needs;

  • Naming those debilitating patterns and habits which the Seeker recognizes as “sin,” sometimes concluding with sacramental confession;

  • Creating rituals which help them get un-stuck from old patterns or claim new ones; rituals shifting their relationships to their past, present, or future; releasing powerful old narratives and creating new ones by which to steer their lives;

  • Conversations with people outside the Christian tradition who struggle with it, and who need to be able to talk about how their tradition fits within Christianity (or not);

  • Looking at their patterns of prayer, meditation, and worship and seeking to deepen them.

 

Increasingly as I approach retirement I am working short term with people, helping them get through a changing time in their life, a family crisis, a work issue, or a shift of perspective which changes everything. I prefer these short term sessions (3-6 times) to long term.

 

Because I live remotely, I “see” most of these Seekers through the wonders of technology: Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or telephone. Each session last around an hour. I work with a sliding scale as befits their income. Most pay me around $55 an hour, and I am paid by check, cash, credit card, money order, and electronically.

 

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of being in a conversation around spiritual direction please email me at cwmetzler@gmail.com.

Conversation place in the yurt

(See "Hospitality" page)

Candles in sacred space

Lübeck, Germany

A lantern looking out over the North Sea,

Amrun Island, Germany

Companions walking together, Germany

Walking over shifting ground

on Amrun Island, Germany

© 2020 by Carolyn Metzler.