WISDOM
What is Spiritual Direction?

02/27/2018

By Kim Mulder, Certified Spiritual Director

Are you feeling stuck in life? Do you have persistent questions about patterns you see in your life? Maybe the box that has held your life no longer includes all the tools you need to navigate faith, family or profession. Perhaps you need someone who can listen and let you “talk out loud” about where you find yourself right now.

A few years ago, I was feeling “stuck” in my life and unsure of which direction to take. So I sought out the counsel of a spiritual director. It was immensely helpful because she was able to help me talk out my story and in the process grow in intimate relationship with the Divine and myself.

Perhaps you are curious about spiritual direction! Read on to learn more about how interacting with a professionally trained guide can help you discover the ways that God is moving in your circumstances, and how you can authentically respond to that movement.

What Is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction allows you to explore whatever your life is offering.  Any question or circumstance can offer you the path to explore your connection to self, others, nature and God.

Here are examples of why you might seek out spiritual direction:

  • Circumstances that have thrown you off balance
  • Experiences or feelings that just are not making sense within your current set of beliefs
  • A loss
  • Questions about faith, prayer, God.
  • An impending decision
  • Issues of our times that are causing you stress
  • A transition in life

How Does Spiritual Direction Work?

Spiritual direction is a conversation between a guide called a “spiritual director” and a person willing to share his or her story.  This conversation happens in a sacred space in the presence of the Spirit.  This Spirit is always one of love, compassion, and wisdom. The director is trained to listen to the voice of the sharer, the whisper of the Spirit, and her own inner movement discerning where to question, notice, name, encourage and celebrate. The space is private and the conversation is confidential.

Most often the meeting with a spiritual director lasts for 60 – 90 minutes. The frequency can vary greatly, with one meeting per month being average.  See the information below for finding a spiritual director in your area.

What are the Benefits of Spiritual Direction?

A spiritual director may introduce you to practices that will support the growing relationship between our humanity and our spirituality.  These may include contemplative prayer, meditative readings of religious scriptures and poetry, writing, and more active forms like contemplative walking or running. Spiritual direction itself is a practice that can be a one-time conversation, can take place over a season of life or become a regular, lifelong companionship.  Spiritual direction helps us discover the wisdom, the love, the Holy that has its home within each one of us that we may know the joy, freedom and transformation that our lives have to offer.

Spiritual Direction Resources

Greater Grand Rapids and Holland area: Kim Mulder, Certified Spiritual Director, kimmulder.csd@gmail.com

Grand Rapids: The Dominican Center at Marywood https://dominicancenter.com/center-for-spirituality/spiritualdirection/

Anywhere: Spiritual Directors International

http://www.sdiworld.org/find-a-spiritual-director/seek-and-find-guide

About the author: Kim Mulder is a Certified Spiritual Director, who offers a sacred space to  others who are exploring what it means to be both a spiritual and a human being. Kim lives in Holland, Michigan, with her husband, Michael. They have four grown children.

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