What is Spiritual Direction/Spiritual Companionship?

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In our busy, noisy, cluttered world, it is rare that we take time to listen to our own inner voice and the Mystery that surrounds us. Even those involved in faith traditions that encourage reflection may find themselves spending most of their time “doing” and little time “being.” A spiritual director/spiritual companion provides intentional, sacred space for an individual to listen to their inner voice and notice the unfolding Mystery of the Holy in their lives.

When Someone Deeply Listens to You

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you've had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.

When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind's eye.

It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

— John Fox, author, Poetic Medicine:
The Healing Art of Poem-Making

 

 

 

Though it is common to see the title “spiritual director,” my personal philosophy is in line with the idea of being a spiritual companion. I do not “direct” those who I accompany on the journey what to believe, think, or feel. Instead I create sacred space, a safe space, for your own voice to be heard by another and for you to hear your own voice. Through my own training and experiences I have found that given space, a person’s inner wisdom will blossom and reveal a beauty far more expansive than anything I thought was “best.” I try to stay out of the way. However, I do have a toolbox that provides me with an assortment of creative and sacred ways to be present with you including:

  • Sharing poetry and art images to inspire you.

  • Encouraging the writing of poetry to deepen reflection.

  • Nurturing your inner child, if she/he/they feels the need to speak.

  • Noticing the sacred movements and openings in your everyday life.

  • Compassionately reflecting on places of resistance or “stuck places.”

  • Creating space to heal soul wounds and existential pain.

  • Journeying alongside you through times of grief and loss.

  • Supporting your transitions, decisions, or transformations.

  • Rejoicing with you when you have “aha!” moments.

  • Exploring and encouraging your curiosity into richer spiritual and creative practices.

What to expect in Spiritual Companion Sessions

Listening together is inviting, challenging, creative, and unfolds in unexpected ways. No two sessions are alike, yet we’ll always be focused on how you’re connecting to the Sacred and to yourself. From stories to silence, laughter to tears, struggle to delight– everything is welcome in our conversations. Appointments last from one hour to 90 minutes, and are held bi-weekly, monthly, or as often as works well for you. I am located in the Portland area.

Your first informational session is free of charge, so we can get to know each other and test our “fit.” We usually have a pretty good sense in that first session whether we’re a good match, and if not, no problem. For future sessions, I offer a sliding fee scale, from $75-100 per hour. After three or fourmeetings, we’ll evaluate how we both feel about our work together.

When working as a chaplain, I met people where they were on their journey and that is also my philosophy as a spiritual companion. I meet with people of all faith traditions or those who would define themselves as “spiritual not religious” (common in chaplain work) or those who hold no belief in a “higher power” but still wish to explore what offers meaning and purpose to their lives. I have been honored to meet with folks from all life backgrounds and orientations and all are welcomed.

How Do We Start?

Please contact me to set up an initial session or for further information.


Education:

Anne earned a Masters of Art in Christian Education and her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. Her training as a chaplain has further honed her skills in intentional listening. Her chaplain certification is through the Association of Professional Chaplains.

For more information about spiritual direction, see the website of Spiritual Directors International.