Spiritual direction may seem a little mysterious to people when they first hear about it. The Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction wants to make it more accessible.
It will always be a mystery how the Spirit works but there’s no big mystery about what spiritual directors do for our clients.
- We listen. You bring a life experience, a concern, a question or a desire to explore and you share that with us. What we are listening for are those moments in the telling of your story where the energy or feeling shifts–either you show more life and joy or perhaps indicators that what you are sharing is painful or in “a stuck place.” Always begin with your spiritual director by sharing what it is that brings to to direction that day.
- We reflect back what we hear–both the words and the feelings. This is to help you clarify for us if we are hearing correctly and it sometimes helps you tell more of your story.
- We may share what we observe. This is called “contemplative listening” where we simply tell you what we notice about what you have shared.
- We will sit with you in those times where silence is necessary. Many times when a director does not speak, it is because no words are called for (it’s not a negative reflection on what you shared. We don’t do “the silent treatment!”).
- We ask questions directing your attention to what matters. Our questions are not designed to satisfy curiosity. They are open-ended and honest, meaning we have no idea how you might answer the question. Leading questions have no place in spiritual direction. We only ask those questions that we hope will help you better explore your spiritual path.
- If you wish, we will pray with you. We may do so in silence or using words for the divine that are comfortable for you.
- We hold your material in confidence. It’s part of how we ensure you feel safe enough to share deeply.