The Spiritual Path is a long and winding road. It’s good to have a companion.
What is Spiritual Direction?
In spiritual direction, two or more seekers enter sacred space to dream, explore, and discern a path toward personal wholeness and deeper intimacy with the Divine. Usually this journey is a one-to-one, face-to-face meeting, with one seeker acting in service to the other. Sometimes it's on the phone or over zoom. Often, they speak. Often, they don’t.
Along the way, they talk about just about everything that happens in life—work, play, relationships, personal struggles—but always the question comes back to a central question: how is the Divine wooing us, calling us into deeper and deeper intimacy?
As we go deeper, more questions emerge: What is the Divine “up to” in all of our daily ups and downs? How is the Divine moving and nudging and forming us, through both our triumphs and our defeats? How do we resist the Divine call? How does the Divine’s desire for intimacy threaten us and push us beyond our comfort zones? What does this intimacy require of us? What is it calling us to? In what ways are we out of congruence with the deepest truth of our souls—with this Divine calling—and how does this imprison us and limit us? How can we move into deep places of interior freedom that are transformative and healing and liberating, not only for us, but for the world?
Those are Big Questions. Spiritual direction is often the only place in our lives that many of us have to deeply explore such questions, witnessed by another soul, without judgment or condescension. It is the place where we can be encouraged and challenged to open ourselves more deeply than we ever thought was possible. This is deeply healing work.
One metaphor that I like is that of the spiritual director as couple’s counselor. The couple, of course, is you and the Divine. Both of you want deeper intimacy, but how do you get there? Intimacy is scary, and often the things that get in our way aren’t even conscious. The spiritual director is there to hold the space, to speak what she notices, and to help guide you and the Divine into the kind of deep and meaningful connection that you both desire.
Spiritual direction is also a place to work through big decisions in our lives, where we can consider which choices are most in congruence with our soul, with our deepest longings, and with the sacred covenants we have made.
What is Supervision?
All spiritual directors, if they are practicing ethically, are in spiritual direction themselves and also see a supervisor, usually once per month. In supervision, the supervisor helps spiritual directors navigate the trickier aspects of their ministries. In supervision, we also explore why the divine has sent you this client, at this time. What is the divine up to in the spiritual director's own life through their sessions with their clients? Supervision provides safe space to explore issues that arise in one's spiritual direction practice, allows for confidential consultation with an experienced fellow professional, and provides accountability for spiritual directors.
What is EFT?
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique, a system that employs the use of gentle tapping on specific acupuncture points as a means of calming the body and becoming desensitized to traumatic memories. Through a safe and guided process of vividly re-imagining triggering and traumatic events while tapping, these events lose their subjective charge bringing healing and relief.
In my practice, I use EFT to help people recover from religious trauma and spiritual abuse, especially those raised in conservative or fundamentalist religious environments.
Make an Appointment
John Mabry is currently receiving new clients. Contact him at 510.290.4349 or email at apocryphile (at) me.com