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Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive
to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber
who has not observed with admiration,
even with rapture, the outer stone ...
—Mary Oliver, West Wind
Mary Oliver was (is) the poet to my soul. In 2016 I lead a restorative yoga series based on her poetry. You can find my poem pics from that project by clicking here.
One of my favorite English sayings that carries an Indian perspective is “same-same, but different.” When my friends use it, sometimes it really is “same-same, only a little different;” sometimes what they suggested is so different that it’s hard to see the “same-same.”
The support options offered in my scope of practice are a bit like that: they are same-same, but on a scale of difference.
Here’s the most important take away: the spiritual directee or client always gets to talk about whatever they want; the choice of support option(s) they have selected helps to guide my response. The support options are not rigid categories; they describe elements of my scope of practice. The “relationship recipe” can be blended to meet the support desired.
Spiritual direction is the foundation of all the support options that I offer.
My “three-floor elevator pitch” of spiritual direction is “a specialized & supportive relationship of contemplative, compassionate, & skillful listening between a spiritual director & spiritual directee with the sankalpa (sacred intention) of growing safe & nurturing connections with one’s Self and in our relationships with others, Spirit, & the planet.” If I only get one floor to make my pitch, I say: it’s about our connection to everything.
My particular scope of practice is “trauma-informed.”
But what does that mean?
First, when I say “trauma,” the shortest definition I have is “disrupted connection.” A few more words, trauma is a chronic state of disconnection from one’s Self, others, Spirit, and/or the planet. Trauma is not what happened to us; it’s what we hold inside in the absence of an empathic and supportive witness (h/t Peter Levine and Gabor Maté). It comes in “all shapes, sizes, and flavors;” trauma is certainly not a “one-size-fits-all” response.
Second, with my primary definition of “spiritual direction” being about “connection” and “trauma” as “disconnection,” Trauma-Informed Spiritual Direction gives extra careful attention to establishing, cultivating, and repairing the felt sense of safe and nurturing connections to one’s Self, others, Spirit, and the planet.
Third, I use the modifier “trauma-informed" to indicate that I have done a significant amount of specialized education in trauma studies and integration of my own trauma history. Trauma-Informed Spiritual Direction can include a little bit of education about your body’s nervous system and how it might be supporting or disrupting your connections.
You can read about my education or about my journey.Here is more about Spiritual Direction and my trauma-informed scope of practice.
Yoga & Ayurveda
Again, the support options mostly change my responses and reflections. In either option, you “simply” show up and talk about whatever you want to bring.
In both spiritual direction and coaching, I’m attempting to hold and co-create a space where you can hear your own inner wisdom. In coaching we attune toward “awareness to action” and I will enquire about “action items” with contemplative curiosity, compassion, and gentle accountability.
You can read more about coaching on this dedicated page.
Practice Support sessions are for those who want to establish or cultivate a specific spiritual practice (e.g. meditation, restorative breathing, supported savasana, yoga nidra, journaling, nature-befriending practices, etc.).
Practice Support generally includes elements of neuroplasticity and applied polyvagal theory. In brief, neuroplasticity is the neuroscience of how we build inner resources and sustainably change our thoughts and actions. Applied polyvagal theory leverages neurological information to facilitate safety, connection, and social engagement. These two concepts undergird spiritual practices and form the foundation of Trauma-Informed Spiritual Practices.
A series usually starts with a few 60-minute sessions to establish a practice routine and then continues with 30-minutes sessions to process and adjust the practice.
Practice Support can be incorporated into other support options or added alongside them.
Ayurveda is the ancient and indigenous health and wellness practice of India. One of my Ayurvedic instructors in India described “yoga” as “the science of the mind” and “Ayurveda” as the “science of the body.” To which he added, “both are spiritual sciences.” They are often described as “sister sciences,” deeply related to each other.
Both of them are profound somatic spiritual paths of restoration and samadhi (integration, wholeness); both seek the balance of our inner and outer worlds, the microcosm and the macrocosm.
Trained in both India and the US, I have over 1,000 hours of yoga and Ayurveda education. I am a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 yoga instructor and an “Ayurveda Therapist, Level 1” able to provide basic Ayurvedic education and lifestyle consultations. I specialize in applied polyvagal theory and positive neuroplasticity integrated into restorative yoga and use Ayurvedic principles to assist in crafting a daily cycle of somatic self-care (dinācharya) and seasonal routines (ritucharya).
Yoga and Ayurveda can be incorporated into other support options or selected alone.
I have developed a method of small group spiritual direction that I call soma divina. Inspired by the the traditional monastic practice of lectio divina that uses scripture to promote communion with the Divine, soma divina uses quotes, poetry, and our somatic response to increase our awareness of Spirit.
I occasional offer series of soma divina (check my Events page) and am willing to arrange a series of sessions for groups of 6 to 10.
Soma divina can also be incorporated into spiritual direction or practice support.
Publicly offered retreats are posted on my Events page.
I also offer retreats designed and tailored to groups of various sizes. A small group of friends or colleagues can often bring me to them for a per-person investment that is less than the cost of everyone traveling to a pre-packaged retreat.
Retreats are a selected flow of teaching content, group spiritual direction, and application & practice.
Please contact me directly concerning organizational consultations.
The Apprenticeship in a Trauma-Informed Scope of Practice (ATISP) is a partnership of support to integrate a trauma-informed perspective into your professional scope of practice and to develop your inner resources of self-care and self-regulation.
The ATISP is designed to:
Spiritual directors, clergy, chaplains, transitional ministers, yoga teachers, and non-profit leaders are encouraged to apply for the ATISP.
Supervision with me is about discerning and calling forth the spiritual director you have within you. It’s about you and your definition of spiritual direction. There are several models that we can use for supervision, but all of them include you preparing your brief definition of “spiritual direction” ahead of every session. In supervision, you will discuss your directees (anonymously), but my questions and feedback will be focused on your scope of practice.
Supervision is offered to individuals and groups.
Case conferencing is a little different than supervision. This method is an opportunity for you to “present” a spiritual directee (anonymously) that you want a “second opinion” on. This method is a little about them. My questions and feedback will include more reflection, with you, about what might be happening with your spiritual directee in order to strengthen your safe and nurturing connection.
See my Events Page for upcoming opportunities or contact me directly to design something specific for you or a group of people.
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All Rights Reserved.