Today, Mystic Mag interviewed Linnea Nelson, Spiritual Director. We discussed her beginnings, relationship with clients, as well as what she loves most about her profession.
When did you first know that being a Spiritual Director was your calling and how did it come about?
I have had many experiences in my life that allowed me to feel deeply connected to other people, nature, and the mystery of the universe. Years ago, I participated in a program called UU Wellspring, which is a spiritual deepening program for Unitarian Universalists that recommended having a spiritual director. My experience with spiritual direction over the next few years led me to a deepening of my life experience. After a family move to Florida, I took the time to discern how I wanted to spend my life and spiritual direction came to me as a calling as well as an intellectually chosen vocation. It was an aha moment when I sat in contemplation, opening my heart to how I might both serve and grow. Intellectually, spiritual direction combined my past experiences in education, religious education, psychology, and deep friendships over the years. But the real call was a sense of curiosity of the spirit and love and respect for the deep experiences we have on our life journeys.
What services do you offer?
I offer one-on-one spiritual direction, usually once a month for 55 minutes a session. I have a flexible schedule and the same time and day each month is not required. I want you to come when the time is right for you. I also provide small group spiritual direction as well as supervision for spiritual directors, both in small groups and individual sessions.
How would you describe Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is a time and. Space where you are invited to bring your whole self. My role is to create a sacred container, with gentle questions, guided imagery, and a few other tools to explore your spiritual life. Often this includes looking at your outer life, earlier life experiences, and anything obstacles that stymie you on your journey. I am skilled at supporting the spiritually inclined, the religiously inclined, and those without an experience of either. Spiritual direction is about your spirit and not about a religious path, except where you see an intersection. This often allows for rich Exploration.
I describe my role as a spiritual director as the title on my certification, but I see myself as a spiritual companion and the directee as the director of their own life. I create the space and ask questions that build on your own curiosity to bring a deep sense of wholeness to your life.
What can a person expect from it?
This short video shares my philosophy and how a typical session with me unfolds. My hope is that you will find a space to share your life story and to explore what is most meaningful in your life, perhaps finding or connecting to the divine within and around You.
What is the most important detail in maintaining a relationship of mutual trust with Clients?
I require a release that includes my commitment to ethical behavior, including confidentiality. However, it is the first pro bono session that establishes my goal of holding space for whatever has energy and relevance in the directee’s life.
What do you love most about your profession?
I feel that being a spiritual director offers the opportunity to explore beauty, love, heartbreak, fears, emotion, shadows and yearnings. Such a rich and varied path we all have on our way to deepening our spiritual lives! My own spiritual journey has led me to a connection with the divine as being in all of us and in the space between us and around us allows me to love more fully, experience life with a newfound fullness, and to find joy and beauty from the mindfulness that has grown. I discover a new piece of this in each session with a directee, both for myself and hopefully for them. I can hold space for tears as well as joy and I’m deeply grateful and honored by the trust we build over months or years.