What is Spiritual Direction
It is stepping toes in.
It is allowance for questions.
It is help and hope for the journey.
It is processing religious and spiritual experiences.
It is having a companion, a fellow earth-bound pilgrim, to walk with into subjects so other and yet so earthy.
It is not being alone while contending for understanding or direction or wisdom.
It is finding rest and growth for your interior self.
It is having another be present with you, as you seek out what God is for you and to you. Whether that is a personal relationship with spirituality or a defined faith, you are not alone. One who can hear questions, doubt, pain, confusion, joy, delight, inquiry without agenda.
Inquiry without Agenda is perhaps my favorite reality of Spiritual Direction.
Spiritual direction is a time-honored term for a conversation about ways in which God may be touching our lives, directly or indirectly. It is the practice of being with a person as they attempt to deepen their relationship with God as well as their desire to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. The director listens to the person seeking direction and asks questions to assist in the process of reflection and spiritual growth. Spiritual direction is about developing a deeper relationship with the spiritual aspect of being human; it is not psychotherapy, counseling, or coaching. The spiritual director (companion, friend) sits as a witness to the ongoing conversation that God is having with the directee. I practice a contemplative approach to spiritual direction. The director listens, offers questions and responses as a guide and companion for the one seeking God and desiring awareness of God in his/her life. Spiritual direction is the practice of discernment-finding God in all things.
What typically happens in a direction session?
Normally, each session is 1 hour (60 minutes). The time usually begins with a time of quiet centering, followed by a time for you to share whatever seems important. Then there is interaction between you and the director as you seek together to discern God’s movement and invitations in your life. The session ends with a brief time of closure.
Some questions your director may ask to help you two connect:
- Have you been involved in receiving spiritual direction before? Where and when?
- Why are you seeking spiritual direction now and what are you hoping to receive?
- Is there a particular need or issue you’d like to explore?
- How do you experience prayer at the moment?
- What practices feed your spiritual journey?
- How do you access God’s movement and invitations in your life?
How often would I meet with my director?
That really depends on you. Twice a month is a common pattern, although more often, especially in the beginning or during times of need, may be helpful. Some people contact their directors only when they are ready. The frequency will be determined by your needs at the time.
Before we begin with regular spiritual direction sessions, we will have one intake session. The fee for that meeting is $225.00. We will go over your responses to the intake form, you can ask any further clarifying questions, and we will take the time to discern if we are to work together. After that initial session, the fee range on a sliding scale is $85-$125.
- All information shared with me will be kept strictly confidential. I will not
discuss anything regarding your spiritual direction with anyone else without your expressed
permission. Our mutual trust of each other is paramount in this relationship. You may feel free to
discuss your spiritual direction sessions, as you deem appropriate.
- I recognize that you may have future plans, business dealings and proprietary information. I will not at any time, either directly or indirectly, use any such information for my own benefit.
- I will not use your name as a reference without first obtaining your verbal or written consent.
- When spiritual direction is at its most effective, it becomes holy ground with God’s presence shared among us. This requires mutual respect and a trusting, trustworthy relationship.
My Prayer for our directing relationship: That you will have a safe and loving place to explore and deepen your relationship with God; that I will be a trusting witness to your conversation with God; and that we will both trust the presence and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, who is, finally, the Director.
Elle Miller (Mims Driscoll) is the founder and director of Living Mangaliso. As a spiritual director and supervisor Elle has walked along individuals old and young amidst many of life’s journeys and circumstances. She has offices in Blacksburg, VA and Charlotte, NC as well as a thriving online practice for those who do not live local to either office. She is a graduate and a member of the faculty at the Charlotte Spirituality Center.
Having been in full-time ministry for over 25 years, Elle went on a search for a holistic approach to the reality of connection between the body, soul, and spirit. She relishes the contemplative and mystical side of life, as well as appreciating the beauty of a liturgical approach. A certified trauma informed yoga therapist, her passion for people led her to start Living Mangaliso, (Mangaliso is Zulu for You are an Amazement), a community that focuses on restoring people to their bodies, breath, souls and spirit.
Elle has sat with priests and full-time ministers, lay leaders, seminary students going through discernment, individuals who are searching out and healing from experiences within religious expressions, as well as spiritual seekers from all faiths. Holding personally to a Contemplative Christian perspective, Elle’s practice is interfaith, ecumenical, and open to all people. A friend to all in every life style. Elle’s heart and hope is that all would find safe places to make inquiry upon these most precious, personal, and important components of life.
Her awareness of the realities of life and ministry form out her specialties. Pastors and their wives, kids who have grown up in religious or spiritual expression searching out those realities, individuals in full-time/part time church or para-church ministry hold a special place within her heart. As do individual seekers who find it difficult to talk about such topics and realities; as spiritual experiences and spirituality as it pertains to sexuality. Elle is known for her ability to create spaces and times that provide safety. She has clients around the United States and abroad, as such her availability to meet is flexible. Elle has been part of the Spiritual Direction team at the Wild Goose Festival spoken on many podcasts and under the name Mims Driscoll (name change in December 2017 for personal life reasons) written the book, AMAZEMENT: Reclaiming the Brilliance of Wonder.
Connect with Elle – ELLE@LivingMangaliso.com