For more than three decades, Jennifer Revill worked at Logan International Airport in Boston and left just in time to finish a graduation in spirituality and “to begin building something completely different”. In this interview for MysticMag we know more about that next step. Jennifer explains to us how she discovered her spirituality, the idea behind Mobile Mystic and spiritual directions.
Check out the interview below!
When did you discover your spirituality and that you wanted to invest time in exploring it?
I have recognized myself as a spiritual being since I was a young girl. Even in elementary school, I remember wondering about God, and feeling that there was more happening in the Universe than I could perceive. I followed that interest through my adolescence, when I first affiliated with a Protestant church; and into adulthood as I explored many religious, spiritual and mystical traditions.
When I was in my mid-50’s I finally decided to begin a master of arts program in spirituality and spiritual direction, which I completed in 2021. I finally was able to give my deep interest in the topic the dedicated time and scholarly framework that I had been looking for all along.
Can you explain to us the idea behind Mobile Mystic?
I believe that all people are spiritual beings. Some of us find spiritual homes within the beliefs and practices of traditional religious faiths; others may reject traditional religion, preferring to create their own spiritual paths. Still, whether we choose to articulate the need or not, we are all yearning for a deep connection with something sacred, something greater than we are.
The concept of “mobile” suggests something in motion, or something subject to growth and change. A “mystic” is a person who has direct experiences of the sacred, unmediated by conventional religious rituals or intermediaries. Mobile mysticism speaks to those individuals who are in motion through the secular world, but are still seeking – and finding – sacred experiences all corners of their lives. I believe people, and even communities of people, are capable of discovering their spiritual identities, no matter where they find themselves.
My service as the Mobile Mystic is as a guide and a companion to spiritual seekers, giving them the tools to discover their deepest connections to the Greater, whatever their individual paths. Support for one’s spirituality can be found through affinity groups, small group ministry, workshops with like-minded spiritual inquirers, community events, or one-on-one discovery.
How do your sessions normally work? For example, what are your steps in a spiritual direction session?
My personal experiences and my life-long interest in the life of Spirit in individuals and communities guides my practice. My purpose in a spiritual direction session is to companion each person as he or she seeks, finds, and nurtures their unique one-on-one relationship with the Greater, in whatever way feels truest to them. It might be through connection to nature, artistic practices, interpersonal relationships, or religious practices; the path itself can vary.
I work with clients with a diverse array of personal and religious experiences and backgrounds. I am particularly interested in the spirituality of non-religiously-affiliated people, who start from a different place than those who are part of a religious community. What doesn’t change from person to person is the caring support I hope to offer, as each discerns his or her unique spiritual path.
Spiritual direction is a meeting of hearts and spirits. In a one-on-one session, usually held monthly, the director and directee meet either in-person or virtually to explore whatever feels of spiritual importance to the directee at that time. I always begin by chiming a singing bowl; I believe in sound as an important element in creating a sacred “container” for the session. I select, or compose, an invocation that I believe will be meaningful to the moment. There is a period of silence, and the person begins speaking as the Spirit moves them. We spend an hour or so talking and listening through whatever topics and spiritual inspirations arise. The meeting is always closed with a benediction, blessing or prayer.
In a recent blog post you talk about religion and spirituality and how you can be influenced by many different ideas. Can you expand for our readers?
Each person’s spiritual path is unique, and is forged from their own personal experiences, family history, geographical location, desires, and the callings of their heart. Religious traditions, of course, influence one’s spirituality as well, but are only one part of that. Someone once said to me that “spirituality is the house that religion lives in”, and I like that description.
Or, imagine it this way: religion (comprised of traditions, theology, doctrines and sacred practices) is like an uncut gemstone, like a rough diamond. It is exceedingly valuable, unified, and whole, but in its whole state, its brilliance cannot be appreciated. Spirituality, on the other hand, is when the gemstone is intentionally cut into by each individual “jeweler” who intentionally pierces the rough outer layer of the rock and cuts the outer layer away to create a facet through which the heart and meaning of the religion can shine.
With each cut, the gemstone gets compromised, for sure. The facets are irregular, and some can’t be polished. Sometimes the jewelers fight over their rights to cut and shape the gem. But it’s only by an intentional refinement, by creating a particular light-collecting facet, that all can really see what is inside that gem. Each facet catches and reflects the light differently, at different times of the historical day, creating one imperfect gem that looks different from different angles. The light that emerges from that gem is spirituality.
You have a beautiful initiative, Spiritual Poetry Project. Can you share it with our readers?
This winter, The Mobile Mystic is sponsoring a poetry appreciation event. Participants are invited to either share a poem that has moved them spiritually, or to submit an original poem which speaks to their own spiritual movement or discovery. At a date TBD we will meet by Zoom to read our poems aloud, and to meditate on their artistry and significance. Poetry can be a powerful container for Spirit, and reading poems aloud can be a beautiful practice.
Do you have a special message for our readers in these challenging times?
Humanity is, at this time, trying to navigate global environmental stresses, cultural and technological changes, and the many permanent effects of the worldwide pandemic. Each of these have had the effect of separating us to some extent from each other, as well as from nature and our planet Earth. Meanwhile, spirituality has continued its slow pilgrimage away from traditional institutions, and is frequently taking a more diffuse and more privatized form, leaving us without traditional structures to support us. All of these are making new demands on our spirits.
As these changes occur, we must continue to reflect on how we can nurture our own spiritual selves, and how to cultivate conditions that encourage the healthy blossoming of all global spiritual forms. Always be mindful of the great diversity of spiritual expressions around you, and how the moments of everyday life have the potential to connect any and all of us with the Ultimate. Staying open and engaged with others and with the yearnings of their spirits as well as our own creates beautiful opportunities for growth and positive change.