Policy Update

Because the government has lifted certain restrictions and mandates in recent weeks, I wanted to update my policies for spiritual companioning, in-person workshops, and Reiki sessions.

First of all, I believe and respect an individual’s freedom to make personal choices. Your medical information is personal and private and not my business. Therefore, I leave it up to you to decide whether you receive one of the emergency authorized vaccines, whether you continue to wear a cloth mask after such vaccination – or even before – and whether you choose to disclose that information to me or anyone else.

I believe it is up to the individual to make their own determination of risks. Naturally, if you are more risk adverse, you might feel you must take more precautions. Similarly, if you are less risk adverse, you might not take any precautions or receive a vaccine. It is your choice and I respect your right to choose. More and more information is being discovered and disclosed about the nature of this current situation. More and more studies are being done. Information which was believed true 6, 10 or even 16 months ago is being called into question.

At no time will I request personal private medical information from you. Your health and vaccination status is your business. My reasoning, based on my research and consultation with experts, is I believe it is a violation of medical privacy laws to ASK for vaccination status of an emergency authorized vaccine and therefore, I won’t ask you!

I properly sanitize meeting spaces and my Reiki table before and after sessions with clients. I value providing a psychologically safe and confidential space as well as one that is clean and tidy.

We have emerged from a very difficult time for all of us. It is vital, in my opinion, that we set aside differences in opinions and views and treat each other with respect, kindness and patience maintaining the dignity and autonomy of the person.

If you have questions or want to discuss this further, please let me know. I will continue to provide companioning sessions and workshops via Zoom if requested.

I am currently accepting new clients for spiritual companioning and Reiki. Message me to schedule an appointment.

Blessings and good health to all,

Christy 

Being a Wounded Healer

I often contemplate these wise words from spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen in my practice as a spiritual director/companion and SoulCollage facilitator.

How do I lean into and allow my own woundedness to be a source of compassion for those I companion and share SoulCollage? I think by recognizing our own pain and shadows we can be vulnerably present to others. It’s by standing along side our wounds and doing the work with them, we are able to be the containers and hold space for others on their journey.

I recently facilitated an in-person labyrinth and SoulCollage workshop with a small group. By creating a safe and confidential space, the participants were able to share tender areas of their souls. I was in awe and felt incredibly blessed to bear witness to the unfolding of spirits as I always am in these situations.

Being vulnerable enough to share tender areas takes courage to not only share but also courage to hear and hold without minimizing or pushing it away. Hearing my own wounded heart in another’s words is a gift of companioning and a gift of sharing SoulCollage. It is sacred and holy work.

How do our wounds heal? Wounds don’t heal the way you want them to, they heal the way they need to. Some wounds heal on the surface and can be re-opened in ways we least expect and re-heal. I’m learning again and again to trust the process.

Today I invite you to do a brief meditation calling up aspects of your woundedness. I urge you to do this gently and with a great deal of self compassion. It’s too easy for this to drift into a self blaming exercise. Be kind to yourself. Trust the process.

Briefly begin by focusing on your breathing, noticing areas in your body where you feel tension. Breathe into that tension. Send compassionate thoughts and gentleness to yourself and your body. Let yourself breathe for a few minutes by allowing the breath to come and go naturally. 

Now turn your attention to a wound that comes to mind. It could be physical, emotional or spiritual. Gently breathe compassion and Light into that wound. Allow yourself to see the wound as you would see it in a dear friend. What do you notice? 

 Do you recognize your wounds? How do you process your woundedness? How do you see your woundedness – as a weakness to hid in shame or as an opportunity for self growth and discovery?

Perhaps you feel invited to journal, create poetry or create a SoulCollage card in response to the breathing meditation and questions. Whatever you choose to do – be gentle with yourself and trust the process of self discovery.

Blessings- Christy 

(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting or can be done via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)

Seeking Opportunities

Hello Friends and Followers!

I’m reaching out because I need your help and assistance. I’m working on becoming a certified labyrinth facilitator through Verditas, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire personal and communal change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.

I received my initial training in January 2020 with the expectation I would facilitate at least 3 workshops in 2020 to show I can apply what I learned to create labyrinth experiences for others. This will allow me to complete the certification process. However, with the disruptions in gatherings throughout 2020 due to the virus, I was unable to hold the three required events. I’ve been granted an extension until the end of 2021.

I’m hoping to hold a facilitated workshop for a larger group of people around 20 to 30 before the end of this year. I’ve facilitated for a group under 10 and a group under 20. This group can be comprised of members of a church, synagogue or sangha, faculty and staff from a school, a sobriety/recovery group, prayer group, a book club, a group of artists looking for ways to tap into creativity, a group of moms who desire a way to manage stress, a grief group – the possibilities are endless.

The labyrinth is a centuries old symbol with one circuitous path from the outside edge to the center. Unlike a maze, you cannot get lost on a labyrinth. It is a tool for a sacred experience for some. And for others a way to meditate and reduce stress, to walk with grief and loss, to inspire creative processes, or be a part of recovery and sobriety. Still for others, it’s a relaxing walk outdoors in nature. For me, the labyrinth provides a way to balance my right brain logical and linear thinking with my left brain creative and spiral like inspiration. In a word, the labyrinth gets me “out of my right mind”! It is a prayer and meditation practice. When I combine walking the labyrinth with SoulCollage, I have some profound and creative experiences.

I am located in Southwest Ohio near Cincinnati however, we can talk about my coming to your location to facilitate an experience for your group. Contact me. Don’t have access to a labyrinth? Please contact me to discuss possible resources.

Several years ago, a friend told me to not fear making my needs known. She encouraged me to “put things out in the Universe” trusting my needs will be met. In trust and faith, I’m putting this request out there. And if you don’t the ability to hold a workshop, please hold this intention in prayer and positive energy with me.

In trusting hope – Christy

Please contact me using the form below.

Heartbeat News

I am extending the deadline to register for the Point of Arrival: Labyrinth and SoulCollage Mini-retreat. Please register here before midnight Saturday, April 24th. Limited spaces available so register TODAY https://listening-heart.com/events/

*******************

If you are unable to make the May 1st Point of Arrival: Labyrinth and SoulCollage workshop, I am offering to book private experiences for a small group of friends, a book club, a faith sharing group, a 12 step program group, who desire to explore a deeper connection with themselves and their spirituality. We have a small labyrinth in our backyard with a backdrop of acres of trees. So if you want to experience the labyrinth or SoulCollage or both together, please contact me via https://listening-heart.com/contact/

*******************

Last weekend I had the honor and privilege to companion four women retreatants on a portion of their faith journey. Spiritual direction during a retreat is humbling. I am able to bear witness to Grace and Light and Love as these retreatants open themselves up spiritually to see how God is present in their lives. I am forever marked by their souls. Thank you ladies. Holding you in prayer.

I have to shoutout to the other directors on staff. I felt supported and enjoyed sharing lots of laughter. Holding you in prayer, too.

*******************

I will be holding several Introduction to SoulCollage workshops via Zoom May 22 and June 26 and Creating Sacred Space – Tending to your Soul cardmaking sessions on April 20th, May 19th and June 30th. Please see Scheduled Events – Listening Heart (listening-heart.com) to register for these. Please make sure you include your email to receive the handouts and Zoom link.

*******************

I am booking mindfulness workshops, labyrinth facilitation, SoulCollage workshops and days of retreat for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. If you have a preferred date, please contact me soon to get scheduled. https://listening-heart.com/contact/

*******************

Musings of a Pilgrim Soul

Spring is emerging. I’m so very excited about the emerging of this spring. The vernal equinox, which occurred Saturday morning, is supposed to be the “official” first day of spring. I suppose it is one way to welcome spring. Here on the farm, spring began a few weeks ago when my husband started preparing the tractors and planters for the planting season which is still a few weeks away. Like his father, he believes in allowing the ground to warm up a bit so those soybean and corn seeds have a warm bed from which to start sprouting.

Another sure sign of spring for me is the return of BASEBALL. Depending on where you live, college and high school teams are either in mid season or are just starting. I saw my first game in person this weekend at my alma mater in Indianapolis. It was a perfect day! Blue skies, sunshine and a walk off hit win. Glad I had a sweatshirt because that March wind reminded me winter wasn’t quite ready to let go. Invigorating!

It was so freeing to be around people outdoors without wearing a mask. It seems Indiana is well on it’s way to completely opening up. They are hosting all of the NCAA March Madness games throughout the state as well. Way to go Hoosier State!

My local MLB team, the Cincinnati Reds, open their season on April 1st. No opening day parade through downtown and only 30% capacity at the ball park because of Rona.

Spring is alive. This year feels so special probably because the doom and gloom is over. We ARE on the backside of the ugliness of the past year despite what politicians and power hungry government officials tell us. Just my opinion. I think we could have had a parade – just sayin.

*********

I cannot express fully the depth of gratitude to the Spiritual Direction Internship alumni committee for inviting me to facilitate a labyrinth workshop. We held “Labyrinth, Prayer in Motion” Saturday morning for a small group of fellow spiritual directors.

My experience in the two year internship at Benedict Inn served as the model for how I prepared Saturday’s workshop. Feed the intellect with some knowledge. Nurture the heart space with an experience. Provide a safe and confidential space and time for people to process the knowledge and the experience. Pray. Invite Spirit. Trust in Grace.

It was wonderfully healing to receive and give hugs from friends I had not seen in over a year. Some wore masks, some did not. Most have received a vaccine. Some have not. No matter to me. I’m sooooo very happy I chose to take a risk and receive/give what I have missed for over a year. I’m joyful I saw some of my fellow pilgrims on Saturday.

******

I think it’s counterproductive, to remember what was going on a year ago. I’m choosing to look forward. You can’t look to the past. It’s like what my mom always said when folks would launch into the “woulda, coulda, shouldas”. She’d say, you can’t replay that ballgame.

******

Sunday became a lazy day, a day to recharge and re-group. I love facilitating and giving presentations. It’s probably the inner teacher in me. I taught high school for a few years. I also taught as an adjunct at the college level. Facilitating adult learners who are present because they want to be there is extremely fulfilling. As an extroverted introvert (yea, that’s a thing), I do need that down time to refresh and regroup. I need time to process and just rest.

******

I’m really looking forward to spiritually companioning women on a weekend retreat April 9-11th. it is a blessing to witness how Grace touches the lives of retreatants who show up and open up saying “here I am, oh God”. I am grateful for this opportunity to walk with others.

******

Christians will celebrate Easter on April 4th. If you are one who celebrates Resurrection Day, may the coming weeks provide you with everything you spiritually need to experience deeply the wisdom and truth of Easter.

As Jews around the globe prepare to celebrate Passover from March 27 to April 4, a holiday in remembrance of being released from Egyptian slavery, may we all remember we are not quite as free as we would hoped we would be by now. As I strap on a mask for the millionth time, I can’t help but think dayenu enough already. I’ve been blessed a few times to participate in the Seder. I love the traditions and the ritual foods. I hope I can enjoy Seder again. Happy Pesach to all!

******

I’ve heard this cute and funny blessing years ago. In closing, I’d like to share it with you.

“May the light always find you on a dreary day. When you need to be home, may you find your way. May you always have courage to take a chance, and never find frogs in your underpants.”

Be well, my friends. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Blessings,

Christy

(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting or can be done via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)

%d bloggers like this: