There are many different approaches to spiritual direction. One of my favorite ways to think about spiritual direction involves thinking of the spiritual director as “midwife to the soul,” an image that Margaret Guenther explores in her book Holy Listening. The focus of spiritual direction is on how the Divine Presence (God) is alive and acting in the “directee’s” life, even if it might at times feel like God is far away.
Spiritual direction is about being intentionally open and attentive to the Divine Presence in your own life. The Holy Spirit is the real Director, already present (yet sometimes hidden) in the depths of one’s soul. The “spiritual midwife” assists the person in listening to this Spirit of God, nurturing that sacred dimension of life, and allowing God to be “born” more fully in one’s life every day. In this way, the spiritual director is a little like a coach—but not always. (By the way, bringing spiritual confusion, doubts, or questions to spiritual direction is encouraged!)
My formal training in spiritual direction was done at the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson, Arizona in 2005 and 2006. (“Hesychia” is a word from Eastern Christians that means “stillness” in the contemplative, prayerful sense.) The program covered various ways of spiritual direction from around the world, both traditional and contemporary, grounded in the Christian approach but including an emphasis on interfaith spiritual direction. We also learned various prayer methods and discernment techniques.
My lifestyle is one combining married life, simple living, prayerful study, and freelance writing. I enjoy reading such authors as Merton, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, the “Desert Fathers,” and also other books in the area of Eastern Christian spirituality and marital spirituality. Prayer has been the focus of over 50 pieces I had published in Catholic diocesan newspapers around the United States.
Due to time and space constraints, I currently offer spiritual direction to women only (sorry, guys!). Like most people, I see spiritual direction/companioning as something that usually takes place once a month, for about one hour. Sessions take place in Eagan, Minnesota. The normal fee I charge is $50 per session, although sometimes exceptions are made, especially for people who have just been laid off from work (first meeting is free).
To read an article I wrote about how to find the spiritual director for you, click here.
To contact Julie about spiritual direction, please send an email with “Spiritual Direction” in the subject heading. Please include a little something about yourself and what your main hopes are for spiritual direction. Email to: