I just wanted to share a pdf document as an example to some who might be thinking they would enjoy an experience with spiritual direction, but aren’t sure what it would look like. This is the first four of eight weeks of readings and prayer prompts we would be using. It’s actually very simple stuff and designed not to be too much for including in our daily lives. You could do this in an easy 15 minutes each morning and 15 minutes in the evening, Monday through Friday. Saturdays are for rest and Sundays are for gathering in worship with community.
Feel free to look it over and let me know if you’re interested in doing the exercise and chatting once a week through the experience. I have been very blessed over the years to have a couple of spiritual friends who guided me in engaging The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius, and it’s always a deep time of immersing in God’s presence and scripture. It’s true, I’m not a Jesuit and I have not studied the many years that a man must study to become a Jesuit, but please don’t think I’m just appropriating their work all willy nilly. What I am offering is a small adaptation of The Exercises, my own simple creation that is based on my understanding of the spirit of Ignatius’ work. In the process of adapting ideas and wisdom from Ignatius I am hopeful that God is honored and heard, and that the man’s work might become more accessible to a broad audience of people including those not from the Catholic tradition.
When we chat, I may even refer to my father Ignatius, and I hope you’ll forgive me for the audacity. I feel a great debt of gratitude toward and affinity for the man, though my personal path has been far from that of a Jesuit priest. He was in many ways exactly the kind of man I’d like to be, and as I have been blessed with several fathers throughout my life, by biology and affection, I number Ignatius among the great men and women of faith I hold as spiritual parents.
Let me know if you’re curious about a journey together. The 8 weeks could be started any Monday, but there are already some beginning on this coming Monday, January 5th. You’d be a welcome addition. May God bless your new year richly!
With 2015 just around the corner I want to throw out as much encouragement as I can for you to make and attain some goals in the new year and to grow with God. I want to be a sacred companion for your new year.
This was a title we heard Fr. Richard Rohr use in his email I quoted in my last blog post… a sacred companion is a spiritual friend and/or a director who walks along with you. We walk with God, and a sacred companion is one who recognizes this and lives into that shared journey with you.
I personally come at this from two angles: 1) as a pastor and spiritual director, and 2) as a life coach. Let’s talk about the way each of these two roles can function for us in 2015.
As a spiritual friend directing you in prayer and spiritual growth I will be supplying you with a reading list of passages and questions for reflection. I’ll be supplying you with beginning places (intentions) and methods (different exercises) for prayer. You’ll journal and record the things you experience and discover in the practice of prayer and we’ll be in conversation about those experiences.
What does this spiritual relationship entail and require from you? You need to commit to several things: 1) At least a two month period of direction, 2) at least 30 minutes a day in prayer and reading, and 3) at least 30 minutes a week in conversation with me.
What does this spiritual relationship entail and require from me? I will be committing to several things as well: 1) praying for you daily, 2) reading the same passages you are reading, 3) at least 30 minutes a week in conversation with you, and 4) keeping in contact between our conversations.
Life coaching is a bit different from spiritual direction. In the life coaching relationship I still a companion, but I’m not directing the journey. I’m not providing you with readings and answers, but instead I’m asking questions and digging deep with you into the questions and goals you have about about your life. Life coaching is about managing change, setting goals, and achieving goals.
What does life coaching entail and require from you? Like a spiritual direction relationship, coaching will take some time and commitment… but the payoff can be more than worth it! You will be asked to: 1) be completely honest with me and yourself, 2) set some clear and measurable goals, 3) commit to yourself to pursue the changes and goals you identify as needed in your life, 4) meet with me for 45 minutes once a week, and 5) commit to at least four months of a coaching relationship.
What does life coaching entail and require from me? I also have a lot to do and accomplish with you coaching journey. I will be committed to: 1) being prepared for each meeting each week, 2) spending at least 45 minutes with you each week, 3) holding all our conversations in complete confidence, 4) being completely honest with you at all times, and 5) keeping in contact between our conversations.
A couple of my past posts on life coaching:
One Reason I Love Life Coaching: Healthy Dependence, and
I Will Listen
These are two ways I offer myself to you, in a committed journey of life. Have questions? Let’s chat. Have concerns? Let’s chat. Both spiritual direction and life coaching can happen, and happen well, either face to face, video chatting or over the phone. I actually do prefer Skype. Of course, I’m always happy to have some good conversations with you, but these kind of committed journeys achieve the most for both of us.
Can we mix them up and do both? I think I’ve learned that we cannot in fact mix them up. We can do both over the same period of months, but our times together in conversation need to be kept strictly within the realm of spiritual direction or life coaching. We can do both over the same period of time, or one after the other, but not in a hybrid form of both at once.
Sound like something you could use? Let’s do this! 2015 waits!