The goal of spiritual direction is to help you deepen your experience with God… to help you become more aware of the presence of God
What exactly is spiritual direction? Spiritual Direction involves a dialogue between God, the directee and the director. We can met God in all circumstances of life. Spiritual direction deals with a person’s relationship with God, the ramifications in life of this relationship and the conversion process. The director helps the directee to capture and interpret the significant movements, countermovement’s, and changes in his or her inner daily experiences. The director also helps the directee to move with and act upon the experiences of consolation and to endure with patience the unavoidable experiences of desolation. In other words, a spiritual director is a guide or a support mechanism enabling a directee to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of this relationship. It is experiential in nature, and seeks to direct the person to greater intimacy with and responsiveness to the God of their “understanding.”
In spiritual direction we ask questions that lead to movement and to a deeper relationship with The Divine and others. You will share stories of your encounters of God/Spirit/Source/The Divine and how you are experiencing spiritual issues. The director listens and asks questions to assist you in your process of reflection and growth. Spiritual direction is for people in all sorts of life situations: those who are thriving, those who are hurting, leaders in ministry or those trying to find their way spiritually. It is not psychotherapy, counseling, or financial planning.
Spiritual Growth looks different for everybody but it always connects us more deeply to each other and the Spirit of the Living God. Spiritual Direction doesn’t give you something; it helps you recognize what is already there. Thomas Merton said it best: “In one sense we are always traveling…in another sense we have already arrived.”
Spiritual Direction is a place that you can see the movement of God in your life and helps you tell your sacred stories. Your story and experience of God is uniquely your own.
What can you expect from Spiritual Direction? Most typically: One-on-one, private, confidential, monthly meeting for an hour in person. The hour usually begins with a few minutes of silence. Each Spiritual Director is different in how they shape your hour together. They may choose a reading and/or other creative exercise (only if you are open to it), ask what is going on in your life and faith. You are invited to talk about whatever is on your mind. The Spiritual Director may ask questions to help you think about how God is connected and where God may be leading you.
What is the difference between spiritual direction and pastoral counseling? Although both of these are faith-based, the work and focus differ. Spiritual direction is focused on the movement of the Spirit of God in one’s life. The work involves paying attention to what God is doing, where God is leading, and noticing when God feels present or absent – all with the aim of knowing God better. It is about one’s desire for wholeness and purposefulness of life in God, and is focused on spiritual growth. Pastoral counseling, by contrast, is often problem-based. There is a presenting concern that needs to be “fixed,” unhealthy patterns that need to be changed, or psychological dynamics that need to be addressed, so that the person in question may lead a happier life. Sometimes both are needed or desired in a person’s life – in which case, a spiritual director may also recommend seeing a counselor or therapist, or taking a break from spiritual direction in order to address more pressing concerns.
What are the benefits of spiritual direction?
Become more aware of God’s presence and unconditional love
Find inner peace and let go of things that are hindering your growth
Learn tools to aid you in finding the sacred spaces in your life and soul
Learn and practice spiritual practices you can use in your daily life
If you are interested in deepening your relationship with God, becoming more aware of God’s presence in your life, learning to respond to that presence appropriately, and giving priority to your inner well being – spiritual direction is for you. Contact Ed to schedule a free, no strings attached, initial conversation, in which he will share his background and approach to spiritual direction. This is a time for conversation and questions to see if a partnership is feasible and to decide if the partnership is a good fit for both you and me. Periodically we will review our spiritual direction work together, determine how best to move forward, and whether or not our partnership remains a good fit.
Ed Sniecienski’s professional career encompasses forty years of diverse experience in the fields of Education, Business and Non-profits. In 2011, he launched Discern with Me an interactive blog site focusing on our journeys through the “in-between” places of our lives….from brokenness to wholeness. Ed is the Founder and Managing Director of Discerning Journeys Consulting in Los Angeles, Retreat Leader, Spiritual Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Deacon in the Episcopal Church. He received his Spiritual Direction training at Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality.
To arrange an appointment contact:
818 317 9800
or by email