SPIRITUAL CARE FOR INDIVIDUALS
Is it time for change in your life?
What’s going on? Are you stuck? How are you managing?
Have you experienced recent loss, grief, death, illness?
Do you have financial worries? Hopelessness or crisis of faith? Job loss or changes at work?
Relationship difficulties (antagonisms, personality conflicts, communication issues)?
Is it time to grow?
Do you pray? Meditate? Seek spiritual counsel? The spiritual journey encompasses the ancient practice of ‘cura animarum’, which assists individuals in bringing together body and soul, heart, mind, and spirit in order to grow and achieve personal goals. As Teilhard de Chardin wrote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” What makes sense? How do we know ourselves? How do we experience growth? Sensible Spirituality presumes that spirituality can be apprehended through our senses— and that we can make sense of it by telling our own stories.
SPIRITUAL COUNSELING + COACHING
From the story-telling practices of all the great spiritual traditions, we have refined a narrative methodology which is particularly well-suited to navigating all stages of spiritual development. As Spiritual Counselors, we avoid antagonism and arguments about ‘God’ and the relative merits of any particular belief system. As Spiritual Coaches, we help our clients focus on the principles, values, and practices that are part of their own life experience. With this new awareness, they can then begin to articulate and navigate the foundational and evolving stories of their own spiritual journey, and find their sustaining story. The narrative process we offer occurs over time and demands attention to each of the following steps:
The Founding Story. Awareness. Identify who am I and where am I going? What do I bring with me from my family of origin, culture, religious tradition? What’s useful? What’s not? What am I experiencing, thinking, and feeling? What needs to change? What’s unmanageable? In considering these and other questions and doubts, we help our clients tell their story. We then reflect back to them the values, principles and practices which shape their spirituality into something sensible.
Evolving Story. Acceptance. Identify goals. Develop spirituality. Insight. Further questioning. Introduction to evolutionary thinking. Inventories of failings and strengths. Making amends. Participation in a community. Building a life of integrity.
Sustaining Story. Action. Bringing the Founding and Evolving Stories together. Achieving goals. Effective. Integrative. Becoming a ‘citizen’ of my family, workplace, community and world by performing my duties and responsibilities. A life of integrity.
The Spiritual Development Process asks an individual for a season of commitment to spiritual growth. In the initial phase, we will assess, reflect and counsel clients as they identify their principles, values, and practices and come to terms with what needs to change. Meditation is introduced as a recommended practice at this point. We then move into a navigational mode, providing regular weekly sessions to set and meet goals. We also identify tools and practices helpful for spiritual development. Finally, we support the spiritual practices which ground their sustaining story in a new sense of integrity, citizenship, growth and spiritual development. If a client desires a deeper meditative practice, we will work with them to find a balanced approach that will serve their sustaining story.
As spiritual care providers, we place spirituality at the center of our work, rather than seeing it as a component. We are not therapists, nor do we act in place of professional religious ministers. We take a holistic approach vs. traditional pathologic approach, observing the unified system that contributes to personal health. This is Sensible Spirituality. We work to unify body (communication and boundaries), mind (values and assessment), and spirit (mission, vision, and leadership) and so identify and support the soul of the individual.
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