It seems that people are hungry - but it is not their bodies which are hungry - it is their spirits. The hunger of the spirit is just as real and just as compelling as the hunger of the body. Like the body, the growth of the human spirit towards full maturation is a natural process.
When something is needed, we feel it.
When it is time for a new phase, it begins to happen.
Our soul's hunger is best fed from within - by discovering new dimensions inside ourselves. Spiritual exploration is about discovering the place for real and deep contact with ourselves.
I want to share with you here three ‘big ideas’ which are of great importance to me in my work as a One Spirit Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor:
Meeting the spiritual needs of a changing world.
So let’s be clear about what ‘spirituality’ is? According to some, spiritually means, quite simply, waking up. Waking up to what? Maybe waking up to a bigger reality beyond our small human lives. The reality we know is the one we live in, consisting of concrete matter and a web of relationships on a variety of levels. We learn about ourselves and the world from messages we have been given by everyone with whom we have been in contact; from actions we have done and their consequences; from experts who appear to know more than we do.
So maybe spirituality is about stripping the layers of learning,
so that we can uncover a deeper ‘self' - a self that we are not quite in touch with at the moment.
There are growing numbers of people who are leaving organised religions for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because they find that they can no longer subscribe to a fundamental belief or particular dogma. Other times it is because they take issue with the church leaders and the man-made structures which inhibit rather than enhance their own spiritual development.
Yet there are many principles which are commonly held by all people whether religious, or spiritual, or non-believers:
- there is something bigger than ourselves to which we are connected for which we might use a number of names including God, Spirit, Divine presence, Oneness, energy, light etc.
- we are all connected and interconnected with other humans and with all of nature
- love and kindness are the basis of all effective human interactions
- inner fulfilment comes from being able to operate from our deepest/highest/best self
- appreciation is the foundation for the joy we seek
The Importance of the Spiritual Self in our Everyday Functioning
The second big idea is that the spiritual self is extremely important in our everyday functioning as a human being. Spirituality is not something that exists with no connection to our physical, mental and emotional selves. Our spiritual self is the doorway to our authenticity. Our spirituality gives us our foundation for great meaning in our lives and enables us to stay in balance and peace even while we are busy with the practicalities of life. It’s really hard to write anything using the word spiritual which doesn’t sound either fake or patronising. In cosmic terms we are specks of dust in a hurricane but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage with everyone, on every level, as much of the time as we can. Spirituality is not something to dress up in – we need to live from the inside out and if we can do that then we need not use the word spiritual at all actually!
The Distinction Between Spirituality and Religion
The third big idea is to take on board the importance of the distinction between spirituality and religion. Religion is very meaningful to some people who like the dogma and fixed boundaries. People who attend services and ceremonies as part of their religious tradition experience a sense of community and connectedness with those who are following the same path. However, those who have left a particular religion often miss that aspect of joining together with others to celebrate events, give praise to their deity, and sing and pray together. Still others, who have no wish to join an organised religion, would like to mark particular occasions in their lives with a sacred celebration. Or would like to be with others who have come together to read or meditate around themes like reconciliation or forgiveness or healing. Spirituality is about the search for, and connection with the deepest part and the highest part of ourselves. It is a personal journey to the Divine. I have been on my own personal journey for many years and it is my honour and delight to accompany others on their journeys as their Spiritual Director or Workshop Leader.
Workshops in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland
Rev Geraldine is offering a variety of one day workshops for groups in the West of Ireland and in the UK. These workshops will explore the nature of spirituality, provide an opportunity to learn new concepts and help people to integrate head and heart thinking.
The workshops are experiential and reflective. Work will be carried out individually, in pairs, in small groups and as a whole group.
There will be a range of self-reflective exercises, experiential and personal transformation activities, practical exercises and meditation techniques.
Spiritual Exploration workshops in Ireland are run from Geraldine’s own home in Connemara, Galway, Ireland. She is also available for private spiritual coaching sessions.
Practical Spirituality Workshop
During the day we will explore these questions:
- is spirituality different for everyone?
- how can I access my spiritual self
- what does 'living in the now' really mean?
- is meditation really important?
- how can I bring spirituality into my everyday life?
- how can I stay peaceful when my relationships are so stressful?
- can I still be spiritual if I'm not even sure there is a God?
- how do I know if I'm on the right track?
Before the workshop, delegates will be sent some preparatory questions to think about. They will be invited to share their answers in groups at the beginning of the day.
A group of strangers just gelled together:
“Geraldine is a great tutor on this subject. The workshop is enlightening as well as empowering. Wouldn't have missed it. A group of strangers just gelled together after about 5 minutes with full and open discussion. Highly recommended you do this one.”
— Neil Espin, Managing Director, CECO.
Willingness to share own experiences:
“This was a most enjoyable and informative workshop.It is a difficult subject to present but Geraldine did so with great sensitivity and skill. Her willingness to be open and share her own experiences created a safe environment in which others could also open up. I would not hesitate to recommend both the workshop and Geraldine herself.”
— Elaine Spare
Much food for thought:
“Despite being unaware of what to expect, I intuitively knew that this workshop was for me. It provided me which much food for thought and an opportunity to engage in a range of focused and challenging activities. It was also fun! I feel that this workshop offers a good formula for exploring practical spirituality in a friendly and supportive environment. Thank you for a great day Geraldine.”
— Jane Matthews
Very gentle, yet very powerful:
“The workshop has helped me to move forward. I have found resolution to troubling matters from the past (things I thought were already laid to rest) and became clearer and more confident about the present. Very gentle, yet very powerful.” — Sarah Bailey
How to Increase Your Spiritual Intelligence and Improve Your Life
Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) is "the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation" (Cindy Wigglesworth)
But how do we do this?
There are two ways we will do this. One is by looking at how we can apply the 21 skills of SQ relating to Self Awareness, Universal Awareness, Self Mastery and Social Mastery and Spiritual Presence.
The second way is to set SQ within the context of the Ageless Wisdom teachings which is a complete philosophy of spiritual evolution.
The Ageless Wisdom teachings of the Master DK, telepathically dictated to Alice A Bailey over 30 years, and comprising 30 volumes, deal with the basic principles of life and the Laws of Nature. They speak to the religious minded, the agnostic and the scientist. They put forward profound ideas that have application to every aspect of human existence. Each person can interpret and apply them according to their own situation. The start point is where you are right now.
These workshops will help you to find new meaning in your life, your work and your relationships.
Six one day workshops. Size of group: 6 - 10 people.
The workshops will be a mixture of learnings and exercises. Work will be carried out individually, in pairs, in small groups and as a whole group.
There will be time for instruction into new aspects of the teaching, self- reflection, discussion, practical exercises, meditation.............and fun!
The emphasis will always be on the practical application of spiritual teachings..
These workshops might interest you if you have been asking yourself:
- How do I know if I am fulfilling my life’s purpose?
- What is the connection between spirit and matter? and spirit and ego?
- What are the stages in spiritual evolution?
- What is the nature of the Soul and how do we connect with our Soul Self?
- What skills do we need to develop to achieve spiritual mastery?
- What tools can sustain us on our journey to our Highest Selves?
What aspects of your personal and spiritual life are seeking your attention at this point? Come and find some new perspectives to make sense of your life.
Contact Geraldine for more information on the content of this workshop series.
Spiritual Coaching for Coaches Workshop
Spiritual Coaching and the GROW model
Good coaches adopt a non-judgemental attitude to their clients and are likely to be using the GROW model as a key tool. If you have had coaching in the past, or know people who have, then you will probably have heard of the GROW model as the keystone of the coaching process. In Spiritual Coaching, however, the application of the GROW model may be different:
G is for Goals........but what about the tension between ‘being' and ‘doing'? Suppose people are seeking to be in a state of non-attachment to outcomes - what does a goal look like in that case?
R is for Reality......but there is a difference between the truth of the situation and what we perceive to be the truth about the situation. And often people do not realise that by changing ourselves and our perceptions we can bring about a dynamic change in a relationship or conflict situation.
O is for Options......but suppose the options are not about doing something differently but about thinking and believing differently? And what would success look like then?
W is for Willingness........and our ego will fight every step of the way to keep us in our fear - a fear that will keep us separate from others.
Spiritual Coaching Skills
So a Spiritual Coach needs to:
- Check out their own spiritual basis
- Recognise the difference between operating from love and operating from fear
- Assess their own beliefs in the light of the latest thinking in quantum physics
- Regularly feed their own souls
- Protect and maintain their own energy levels so their clients don't drain them
- Connect with their own spirit so that they can more easily connect at a deeper level with their clients
Spiritual Coaching reaps dividends for both coaches and coachees. For the coach, there is the opportunity to connect with their own spirit, increase their own spiritual awareness and connect with people at a deep level. For the coachee, there is the opportunity - and permission - to see themselves in a new way - as whole and healed and worthy and unafraid. And who among us doesn't want that!
Contact Geraldine if you are interested.
Opened my heart:
“A spiritual journey in itself, the workshop opened my heart to new horizons and expanded the realm of coaching to new dimensions”
“She was great - very inspiring - the workshop has changed my outlook on life.”
Down to earth:
“Very inspiring. I really liked her style i.e. combination of being down to earth and enlightening.”
“Absolutely outstanding - fun, down to earth, inspirational, wise.”
“An excellent inspiring day with much food for thought. It reenvigorated me and left me with a great store of energy..”
With the Spirit:
“Spirit underpins everything. Reach for your spirit and you'll reach your clients' as well.”
Working with Individuals - Spiritual Coaching
Geraldine is available for working with individuals as a spiritual coach. This can be done in a one day intensive at her home, or as a half day initial session with telephone and email follow ups, or as a series of telephone or Skype conversations over a four week period.
Life / Business Coaching
Coaching is gradually being accepted as a process for helping individuals who are at a particular crossroads in their lives.
Their issue may be a personal one (I want a new image; I need to have a healthier life style; I want to improve the relationship with my mother.....) or it may be a career one (I want to change jobs but I'm not sure my skills are transferable; I want to get promoted but I feel I am always being overlooked......). In fact, there might be any number of reasons why people seek a coach. The coach will work with them one to one, either face to face or over the telephone, and in an agreed number of sessions (maybe four in the first instance) will help their client to set goals and identify steps that will help them to reach their goals.
Spiritual Coaching is different
Spiritual Coaching is a relationship we enter into with the purpose of helping ourselves and others to connect with our own spirit so that we can more easily connect at a deeper level with those around us.
The aim of Spiritual Coaching is to help people connect with their own inner strength, wisdom and spirituality, whatever their beliefs. In a safe space of complete acceptance, the Spiritual Coach will assist people in gaining clarity and peace, and in gathering the inner resources they may need to take the next step forward in their life.
Spiritual Coaching will help people to come to know themselves as whole and complete and totally acceptable.
The role of the Spiritual Coach is to see the client as just that - to hold the vision for them - especially at times when they can't see that for themselves. By holding this sacred space, the client can enter into a deeper experience of and relationship to the Divine in their life until such time as they are able once again, to create that space for themselves.
Spiritual Coaching (in line with any other coaching) is not a replacement or substitute for traditional psychotherapy. But if we feel that we are out of our depth at a certain point in our lives, then Spiritual Coaching might help.
Spiritual Coaching may involve looking at negative patterns the client is experiencing and helping the client to move through and beyond them by employing metaphysical or spiritual perspectives and tools to shift perceptions, thought patterns and beliefs, which will help to change the client's experience.
Each client's unique spirituality and/or religious tradition will be honoured. It is not the job of the Spiritual Coach to impose their own spirituality or viewpoint onto others but to help guide the client to connect with their Spirit in a way that is authentic to them.
The major benefit of Spiritual Coaching is the dawning of a more personal, direct and intimate experience of Spirit - however Spirit is perceived. There is a sense not only of emotional healing, but of coming home to one's true self. Thus the Spiritual Coaching approach empowers people in turning to Spirit as the strength within them and learning to trust it as the rock upon which to walk through life.
Reasons why people might seek Spiritual Coaching:
- They want a different approach to dealing with their lives, based on changing their beliefs and using a spiritual rationale
- They have identified that there is another part to themselves apart from the physical, emotional and mental, which they have named as spiritual, but they have no idea how to access this part - or what to do with it when they have!
- They seek clarity and understanding relating to a particular spiritual path e.g. Catholicism or Buddhism
- They are confused about why a particular pattern keeps re-appearing in their life and they want a different approach to provide clarity
- They want a better balance between their heart and their head but don't know how to get that
- They want to be able to access both their masculine and their feminine energy to make their day to day interactions more effective
- They want to explore different spiritual practices which might help them to connect with their spirit
- They are having a problem in forgiving a particular person in their lives and need some help to do it
- They are conventionally successful but happiness has eluded them and they feel a gap within themselves which they think might be their undeveloped spiritual self. They want to get in touch with this side of themselves and look at the spiritual application of their strengths and gifts
Contact Geraldine if you are interested in private spiritual coaching.