I offer Spiritual Direction online as well as in person
Presently accepting clients
Auckland / North AucklandAdd to favourites
I grew up as a Sunday School, Bible Class attender in the Presbyterian church. My faith became authentic when out-of-the-blue I was asked to relieve at a small mission hospital in Vanuatu. I found myself responsible for so many BIG things that I knew nothing about. There was no one to call on but God.
I became an Elder at St Columba Botany and over 50 years relished the family-of-God within that faith community.
Alongside that, I was on the Board of World Vision New Zealand for 17 years and on the International Board of World Vision for 9 years. This drew me into the inspirational company of outstanding Christian leaders. World Vision introduced me to the joy of ecumenical gathering, and at the same time took me to a wide variety of faith communities across the globe. I learnt that when the focus is on the child, the poor, the destitute, tensions of theological difference become irrelevant. Christian faith was exemplified in heart and action. It was a humbling experience.
In my slower paced retirement, living by the beach, I am drawn to contemplative communion with God. At 2am I will stand on my deck in awe of the beauty and mystery of the night sky. One of my favourite poems is ‘When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer’ by Walt Whitman where he describes becoming bored with the lecture on astronomy and instead wandered off:
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
Approach to spiritual direction
Watch your feet. Because where your feet take you, is who you are.
(Buechner, F. 1992, Listening to your life. New York, HarperSanFrancisco, p.86)
In the 1980s I was a midwife working in delivery suite. I learnt how to ‘be-with’ women and their whanau/families as they lived through their own experience of giving birth. I escaped shift work to go to university, then moved to academia.
My research approach was Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology, which is seeking the meaning in lived-experience. It embraces ‘what matters’ to the person, ‘how are you in this’ rather than breaking experience into categories of mind-body-spirit. It is about listening deeply to stories.
For the past 30 years I have been supervising mainly doctoral theses, a one-on-one relationship over many years as their thesis is given birth.
I retired to Algies Bay, out of Warkworth, in 2000. Over the years random people had told me I needed to do the Spiritual Directors programme. It was a comfortable fit, drawing me back to one-on-one relationships, listening to the stories of everyday life with the added joy of seeking the sacred space.
My approach to spiritual direction is to listen to ‘your’ stories, to bring prompts or questions that may help uncover deeper meaning. I delight in offering a poem, image or activity which opens space for the insight that comes when we stop ‘thinking’ and let thoughts ‘come’. I trust that God hovers close. I draw each session into the sacred silence, listening to the voice/feeling/image/mood of God.
I have learnt over the years that each relationship is uniquely itself and needs the freedom to find its own way.
I have had the privileged experience of being a listening ear to many leaders at work and in my church life. It is my great privilege to ‘be-there-with’ people in a manner that attunes to God. I currently offer Spiritual Direction to people in key leadership roles and delight in walking alongside them as they navigate challenging roads.
Being a Spiritual Director is a new chapter in a life that has been richly blessed. I welcome an introductory meeting if you would like to get the feel of me before deciding if I am the one.
When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.