Grist for the Mill
As a spiritual director and soul companion, I am used to sitting with people who bring all manner of topics - from the quotidian to mystical experiences - to our conversations.
In an atmosphere bathed in silence and deep presence, I try to hold sacred space for them to explore and reflect upon the Presence of Mystery/ the Holy in whatever story they bring and to notice what invitations my be whispering in their hearts. Each person, each story, each invitation is unique.
So it was with some trepidation that, a few weeks ago, I sent out a group email (blind copied) to all the people I sit with, now by phone, for spiritual direction. While acknowledging that each person's experience would be different, it occurred to me that there were some areas that many of us are dealing with these days that could be “grist for the mill” in a spiritual direction conversation or at least in one's own private journaling and/or reflection...
In that vein, I suggested several topics that ran through my mind as I was listening to a Spiritual Directors International town hall that took place at the outset of what has turned out to be a time of dramatic change and long periods of sheltering in place for many. In the subsequent weeks a number of folks have commented on how helpful it has been to have some concrete questions to reflect upon and help organize the myriad thoughts and emotions that have arisen during these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Perhaps some of these questions will resonate with you for reflection, as journaling prompts, or as topics to take to your own spiritual director or soul companion:
1. What are your greatest fears when you reflect upon the coronavirus situation, and how are you exploring those fears?
2. What gifts are you finding in any rearranging you may be experiencing in your life at this time?
3. What has been your most pleasant surprise?
4. How are you listening to yourself, to others, to the earth, to the evens of these times?
5. Where are you sensing the invitation at this point?
6. How are you fostering connection at this time: with yourself, with others, with the earth, with the Holy/ Mystery? How might we be called to act from our deepening connections?
7. How have you been prepared “for such a time as this”?
8. In what ways are you noticing that aspects of the emerging new normal might be invitations not to return to the old past?
9. Are you feeling the draw toward any new spiritual practices for yourself or for your family and, if so, how are you sensing that draw?
10. What are some of the challenges and opportunities of being in closer proximity to others these days or in being more isolated?
*Reprinted from the May 2020 newsletter of the Northeast Guild for Spiritual Formation
(A note from the Center: There is good grist here! The questions help explore pain, surprising joy, and some glimmers of new connections. Please allow yourself time to explore the questions fully.)