I have been a word lover and a writer my entire life and have always drawn to the bigger picture. How do we connect with one another? How do we understand one another? How can we support one another? These are not questions that can be answered as much as lived.
On a nuts-and-bolts side of my bio - I've lived in NC more than 35 years and in Charlotte since 2000. I have been married to Rick since 1985 and we have two sons (grown and flourishing) and two dogs. Scout is a retired greyhound and, besides being a complete couch potato, enjoys working with me as a therapy dog. Bailey is a small dog of unknown origin with a spitfire personality.
My professional writing experience includes working as a reporter for The Charleston Gazette, writing copy for Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and writing for the West Virginia Youth Coalition.
My publications are found HERE.
A variety of other endeavors complement my years as a writer and stay-at-home Mom. I have worked as:
While varied in scope, the common denominator to all my work is living from my heart and fostering communication and connection.
As a young adult, I thought becoming a lawyer would serve my passion to connect with others and support people in need. Even though I was admitted to the Maryland state Bar in 1983, I found my day-to-day experience in legal work deeply analytical and minimally personal.
I have found that writing is a perfect vocation and avocation for me. Both my brain and my heart have opportunities for full engagement.
I completed Health & Wellness Coach training through Wellcoaches in 2017. I had lost nearly 50 pounds and was excited about discovering a process that, after a life of weight challenge, finally worked! However, I soon found this coaching focus narrower than I prefer. Goals are important, especially moving toward a healthy body, but the sweet spot for me is in deeper exploration of meaning and purpose.
Spiritual Direction opens that door for me and those who want to walk that path together. It is more a partnership of discovery than a relationship of hierarchy.
Another name for Spiritual Director is Spiritual Companion - but neither is widely known. In our culture, we often see therapists or counselors when we are not struggling with a mental illness but are seeking meaning or grounding. If you are seeing a Spiritual Director and mental health concerns arise, your Director will refer you to a mental health professional. A client might want to see both providers, as each serves a different need.
I pursued Grief Companionship and Bereavement Support training while I studied Spiritual Direction. I learned by life experience the importance of honoring grief; attempting to push past the grieving process has consequences that contract one's life. We live with greater health and fullness when we meet our losses where we are.
"The goal of Spiritual Direction is to help individuals name and claim their personal experience of God." (Charlotte Spirituality Center)
"The core mission of spiritual companionship is helping others recall their true essence, however they might perceive it. And although it can be described as a journey of discovery, in some ways it is more of a process of unveiling and revealing what has already been there." (Listen magazine)
Spiritual Direction is a counseling relationship designed to cultivate our innate spirituality in order to live a more grounded, meaningful life. While a Spiritual Director receives special training, the relationship is one of equal partners in a journey together.
My approach to deepening a connection with The Divine is consistent with science. I engage in deep listening. I came from a place that doubted God's very existence, and am keenly aware of the many different ways to describe or understand what is essentially indescribable and beyond understanding - The Divine.
Elements that influence my views on Spiritual Direction include Positive Psychology, meditation and creative expression, especially writing and journaling. While in some ways similar to Coaching, Coaching tends to rely on planning and creating action steps to accomplish specific goals. Knowing where you want to go and how you will get there is a bit like the outermost ring of Spiritual Direction.
Spiritual Direction is rooted in listening, observing, and asking the right question at the right moment. Coaching assumes you know where you want to go. Spiritual Direction is committed to the journey of discovering and deepening your most meaningful connections.
You may understand that you are seeking a closer relationship with God. You may be uncomfortable talking about "God," but you long to understand what it might mean for you if you were able to establish a level of deep peace, meaning and purpose in your life.
Spiritual Direction is a journey of discovery and connection, a journey of finding and making meaning.