Joanne Spence - Slow Movement Maven
Embodied Spiritual Direction
Spiritual direction is never about the life of the mind or the spirit alone! It is a process of listening together with a guide to the ways that your life in faith involves your whole being and how this life is unfolding under the influence of God’s Spirit. I call that embodied spiritual direction.
In embodied spiritual direction, your experience “in the body” is honored just as much as your thinking and spiritual insights. You are invited to notice your body in its entirety and to allow your feelings to surface and move through you and/or find expression. The way we do this type of listening is using all of our senses, using our entire body. It may involve sitting together in silence. Or it may involve a breath prayer and some gentle movement to allow you to soothe the mind and feel present and accounted for in your body.
Moving the body and connecting to one’s breath facilitate an integration of the mind, body, and spirit. It is through the breath that the most direct access to your nervous system occurs. This, in turn, can lead to a felt experience of relaxation – something that eludes many of us – and openness to what is real, a stance conducive to our being receptive to the movement of the Holy Spirit of God. As we become more aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit, we become more aware of the Spirit in others, and the work of the Spirit in each moment of life. From this place of grounded, centered awareness of God’s presence, words may come. You will be seen and heard by the Creator, God, and by me, your companion on the journey.