with Jayne MacGregor
I completed my Spiritual Direction training in 1998 and learnt much about spiritual formation, mystical theology, other faith traditions and the recognised stages of the spiritual journey. However, spiritual direction is a term I prefer not to use. It suggests a rather 'guru/disciple' dynamic rather than a joint open, honest enquiry and deeper exploration into the spiritual life, which is how I like to work with others. Spiritual guidance and accompaniment is a more appropriate description of what I seek to offer.
The celtic term 'anam cara' – meaning 'soul friend' is lovely expression of this work. As a Christian I am practised and rooted in the Christian tradition, but my experience of guiding and helping others extends to those of all faiths and none. As spiritual beings on a human journey, this life offers us the opportunity to become inwardly transformed by Love, no matter what outer path we may take and at the heart of all true spirituality this inner path of transformation can be found.
We are complex and interconnected beings and so often difficulties experienced in one aspect of ourselves impact on other parts of our nature – the spiritual aspect being as important as the physical, emotional and mental parts of ourselves. Thus the presenting aspect, may have its roots elsewhere and sometimes we need help to tease things out. We need a safe place to really hear ourselves and to be truly heard.
We have a true self, the treasure within, which we need to recover and maybe discover for the first time. I believe spiritual guidance and accompaniment can greatly aid this vital process of our development.