Leaving Coaching and Embracing Spiritual Direction

water ceremonyYou’ve probably noticed it.

I’ve eliminated almost all instances of the word “Coaching” from this website, my services, or how I define myself and what I do.

So I wanted to take the time to explain why I’ve decided to embrace and wear the title of “Spiritual Director” and set myself apart from the “coaching” industry as a whole.

First, let’s explain what Spiritual Direction is and what a Spiritual Director does (and this is my own definition).

A basic definition or core aspect of Spiritual Direction is that of companioning another on a journey.  The older Celtic notions of the “Soul Friend” apply to Spiritual Direction.  A Spiritual Director walks beside another person – in tandem – reflecting and illuminating those instances where Spirit/Source/The Universe, or God (whatever definition you have for the Divine) is showing him/her/itself throughout your experience.

It’s not about our own achievement.  We get quiet.  We find the spaces of ease in our life, the spaces of peace, silence, discovery, and clarity that show us that we are CONNECTED to the Divine.  We discover that we are sacred, interdimensional, even cosmic beings.  We go beyond the “niches” that many in the coaching industry place us in.

The Big Four Niches:

  • Getting Paid (Wealth and Money achievement)
  • Getting Laid (Sex, Relationships, Dating)
  • Expensive Hobbies (Achievements/Attainments or the material achievements we feel make us happy)
  • Not Dying (Health, Weight Loss, Longevity, “Beating” aging)

Those niches are heavy.  Plus, they do not describe our fullness in the presence of the Divine in our lives.   Plus, I learned early on that when you want to “HELP” as a coach, it distracts from ones own inner journey.

NOBODY WANTS YOUR ‘HELP’!   You must change first!

soul friendConversations in a Spiritual Direction Session are deeper, more spiritual, more existential.  We explore our relationship to our own consciousness.  We find the places where breakdowns and dismantlements may be happening, and instead of solving or avoiding them, we open and allow our breakdowns to happen as a holy and sacred act of “change ME first.”

The results go beyond the niches of achievement.  We get to be who we came to be on this Earth.  We get to own our courage and witness the third hand of the Divine working in our lives.  We go inward and face ourselves.  A Spiritual Director is a companion in this journey.

But.. Scott.. Do you have Spiritual Direction Training??

As for me, stepping into this “definition” was one of ease and allowing.  I’m embracing all of my training, education, and self-directed inquiry so that I may comfortably call myself a Spiritual Director.  If you get to know me, you’ll find out that I regard degrees and certifications more as “disguises” than “qualifications” to be in the rooms we wish to be.  I’m confident in my qualifications.  This list is just for information – there are no uniform standards of training for Spiritual Directors:

  • A Master of Arts Degree program in Human Development that was 90% self-designed.
    I completed courses entitled Psychological Transformation and the Spiritual Journey, How Can I Keep From Singing?, Art and Spirit in Nature, Creativity and Holistic Health, Grace and Faith, Closing the School of Assassins (a pilgrimage to the School of the Americas protest), Uncovering the Sacred Northland (an exploration of the Waters, Woods, People and Places of Northern Minnesota – plus attending the Sisters of the Earth annual conference), as well as winning the Outstanding Graduate Paper award for my final paper – A River Between:  Scandalous Learning, Grace, and Creative Recovery.
  • Having my own relationship with a Soul Friend conversational companion (for almost a year now) with Rita Roberts (find out more at cosmicfixer.com).
  • Other experiences, trainings, and certifications.
    550 hours of Massage/Bodywork/Energy Healing ongoing training
    A 50 hour Meditation Instructor Certification course
    Four coaching certifications
    Angel Card Reading certification
    A year of professional tarot reading
    20+ years as a Reiki Healing Practitioner and Reiki Master
    10+ years of journaling my dreams and sharing in a local Dream Group
    40 hours of Crisis Counselor training and 2 years work on a suicide crisis line

Like the coaching industry, there is no standard curriculum for Spiritual Directors.  We bring the totality of our unique experience into our practice as we companion others on their spiritual journey.  I may be more of a “Cosmic” Spiritual Director rather than an Ignatian/Catholic or Buddhist practitioner.  However, I share in the tradition that Spiritual Direction is a meditative, reflective, and contemplative doorway into our Soul’s journey of meaning and purpose.

I do identify as a Christian, though not one of “religious” dogma.  The original Celtic Christians knew the value of “Belonging First” before spreading the message of Christ.  As we are, WE BELONG.  What a beautiful departure from our current religious dogma paradigms.

Let’s shatter those paradigms, because I truly believe that we belong to each other.  We are Spirits having an earthly journey – looking for others who share in the journey.

I hope this helps to clarify my shift into Spiritual Direction and what that means to me.

Love to all,

Mother Earth’s Cupboard with Stacey Quade

It’s always a pleasure to give away great content and information!

This month’s giveaway is an hour-long class on Herbal Wellness, where Stacey Quade, Herbalist and Healing Touch Practitioner, takes us through some easy practices and common herbs for wellness that many of us have in our own kitchens. 

Sign up below to be taken to the class and downloads immediately!

Tarot vs Oracle Cards

Do you like Tarot cards or do you like Oracles?
Do you like both?
Are you a fan of the The Rider Tarot Deck?
Are you more of an Angel Card Reader?
Have you taken an Angel Tarot Certification Course perhaps?

Believe me, there can be heated debates about which is better – tarot or oracle!

How you learned to read cards and your own personal approach can have a strong influence on this question.

If you’re like me, you like to keep your options totally open, and reading cards is just an extension of your intuitive capabilities.  I myself learned the system of Tarot from very non-traditional decks, namely The Greenwood Tarot and The Wildwood Tarot, which largely are based more on the Wheel of the Year, rather than a traditional tarot system.  I’m also a total art-hound, and the artwork of Chesca Potter and Will Worthington just resonates with my longing for the “wild woods” and nature.

I’m also a fan of cards that expand my idea of our role in the cosmos.  I’m now totally in love with decks from Rockpool Publishing – The Cosmic Reading Cards by Nari Anastarsia, and Sacred Power Reading Cards by Anna Stark.  I may even mix them together when I read from from them (a very dangerous practice for any strict tarot enthusiast).

But in all seriousness, I hope that you enjoy the video below from my youtube channel. Enjoy!

Breathing in the Winter Solstice

I feel as if I’ve made about a year of progress with Northern Druid, even though I only just re-launched the website on October 12. The energy has been fast, and I feel as if I’ve found a tunnel of light in the darkness between Samhain and the Winter Solstice, that has motivated me on so many levels.

But today, I’m beginning to settle and quiet. While I’m still working and writing continually, I have more of a gracious thought pattern that seems to be ever forward in my mind. I notice the small patches of snow contrasting against grass that is ever expectant and hopeful to green once again. The warmer days have given rise to me taking my dog to the nearby campus green areas to let her run free as she did before winter descended.

There have been special gifts like these, just showing up daily, and I’ve been pausing more, lest I forget to grab the next possibility moment, recognize it, give thanks, and integrate it. My dreams have been vivid and sometimes wild.

With the coming of the Winter Solstice, I truly hope that all who read this can take the time to breathe. Just breathe. This season of coldness, darkness giving way to light, and the stillness that sometimes surrounds, is indeed VERY special. That STILL EXPECTANCY is so rarely felt in my opinion. It’s incredibly healing for me.

I wanted to share some great video finds with you all. These gems have given me permission to bask in this stillness, and also feel great joy. I hope you enjoy them too.

Happy Yule. Merry Christmas. Happy Solstice. Blessed Be.

A Winter’s Journey with the Reindeer

As a metaphor from the migration we face from darkness to light as the Winter Solstice approaches, I invite you to take a journey into the deep woods with your guides. In this guided meditation, which I wrote in 2009, you will learn about the Caribou and witness their migration and journey along their path. We journey with the Caribou, or Reindeer, as we too anticipate the coming light on the Winter Solstice.

Our planet is journeying through the cosmos as well – catapulting around our sun, which travels along its path in the galaxy at over 20,000 kilometers per hour. There are many cosmic connections to our Wheel of the Year.

Please enjoy this free gift of the Winter Solstice Migration of the Reindeer. You will be taken directly to the page to listen and download after signing up!

The Greenwood Tarot – The Rare “Holy Grail” of Tarot

I thought I’d share great news with everyone! I’ve recently obtained another stand-alone deck of The Greenwood Tarot – meaning that with this 2nd deck, I’ll be reading from The Greenwood Tarot on a regular basis now, while archiving my complete box set. If you are at all a follower or collector of Tarot cards, you know that The Greenwood Tarot, being out of print and rare to find, is the “holy grail” of cards to own or collect. It’s not unusual to see a pristine, never-opened box set (cards, wheel of the year chart, and book), to sell for up to $1500 (US). On average, you can occasionally find these decks for between $400 – $600 or more.

To me, The Greenwood Tarot is both an investment as a collector, and also one of THE BEST cards to read. The images by Chesca Potter are evocative, and the system that was created was revolutionary in the Tarot-sphere at the time.

These 78 cards follow the Wheel of the Year in the Celtic calendar (Solstices, Equinoxes, and Cross-Quarter Holidays), and explore concepts of “pre-Celtic shamanism” with its images and themes.

I recently made a video where I talk about The Greenwood Tarot, compare its themes with the new Wildwood Tarot, and show many of the cards. I hope you enjoy it!

Are you an Indigo?

Watch my reading from the Indigo Angels Oracle cards here!

According to Wikipedia, The term “Indigo Children” was first coined in 1970 by Nancy Ann Tappe, in her book Understanding Your Life Through Color. During the mid-1960s she began noticing that many children were being born with what she described as “indigo auras” that she could see. Tappe’s first observations led the popular 1998 book, The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived by Lee Carol and Jan Tober.

Indigo children and adults have been characterized as “the new children” in New Age circles. These “indigos” share some common characteristics.

Descriptions of indigo children include that they:

  • Are empathetic, curious, and strong-willed
  • Are often perceived by friends and family as being strange
  • Possess a clear sense of self-definition and purpose
  • Show a strong innate subconscious spirituality from early childhood
  • Have a strong feeling of entitlement, or deserving to be here

Other alleged traits include:

  • High intelligence quotient
  • An inherent  or natural intuitive ability
  • Resistance to rigid, control-based paradigms of authority

Today we often hear the terms, “Starseeds”, “Rainbow Children”, or “Crystal Children” to describe the possible ever-changing “evolution” of this Indigo Energy on Earth. Some also believe that these “Starseed Children” may have been seeded on Earth by Angels, Heaven, or even friendly Inter-dimensional or Extra-terrestrial beings.

Whatever you may believe, as a general term, “Indigos” or “Starseeds” can refer to those children and adults who are more “awakened” or “tuned-in” or perhaps opened up to a more spiritual life paradigm. Many times those more familiar with their own intuitive abilities identify with the Indigo Children/Adult “label” or paradigm.

Perhaps you resonate with this term, or perhaps you think it is total psuedoscience. Maybe you believe that as a human being, these traits are in all of us, just waiting to be unlocked. Even if you identify as a Christian, you may simply see these traits as “gifts of the Holy Spirit” that we all have.

At any rate, I wanted to give you an introduction to this concept, because perhaps someone reading needed this information because they couldn’t quite put a “label” on how different they might feel. You may embrace the term “indigo” or not, but I hope that the videos I share with this post are also enlightening and helpful.

The New Children, Indigo Children, Crystal Children

The Amazing Story of Akaine Kramarik

Indigo Revolution – Doreen Virtue

Join the Spirit Chats Meetup Group!

I wanted to happily and proudly announce that my great friend, Cindy Locher, founder of HypnosisFirst.com and I have combined efforts and have created a local Meetup group we call “Spirit Chats.”

As of this writing, the Meetup group is only a few days old, and we’ve signed up over 20 new members!  Apparently there are many spiritual seekers in the South Metro of the Twin Cities.

We’ve started off with a bang, scheduling two great upcoming programs.  In December, Cindy will host a night of Protecting Your Energy & Creating Boundaries. Following that, in January, Scott (me) will be hosting a Journey Into Dreams mini-workshop.

All Spirit Chat meetups are FREE!

We plan to offer a monthly meetup, currently at the ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center office in Apple Valley, MN.  However, with the first wave of signups, we’re both thinking that we may outgrow this space fairly quickly.

How’s that for an accelerating spiritual Universe?

If you live in the Twin Cities and surrounding area, we’d love for you to join us!

Join the Spirit Chats Meetup Group here!

Take the Paranormal Pledge with me!

I’ve been very inspired by the work of Heidi Hollis, founder of paranormalpledge.com, in her efforts to “get people talking” about their paranormal experiences.  I’m in total agreement with Heidi.  We should all take the pledge to tell at least one person about our paranormal experiences, as there is much we can learn from one another by “bringing things into the light” and sharing with one another.

So raise your right hand and speak the following:

“I PROMISE to speak to at least one person in the near future about the paranormal or supernatural experiences I’ve had in my life.”

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

In light of this, I wanted to share with you some of MY most memorable supernatural or paranormal experiences from childhood to early adulthood.  Here we go!

Age 4 – sometime around Christmas time I was awakened in the middle of the night because there was actually a thunderstorm happening with lots of thunder and lightning.  I was drawn to get up out of bed and walk toward the Christmas Tree in the living room.  Maybe it was Christmas Eve, I don’t remember the date.  But as I walked into the living room to look at the tree, I remember a huge clap of thunder and lightning.  As the lightning struck, I remember literally flying across the room and seeing everything in bright rainbow colors that I’d never seen before, and feeling like I was flying back to my room – like I was at the top of the ceiling.  I remember waking up the next morning laying in bed on top of my covers, thinking that it was odd that I wasn’t tucked under my blankets.  It was only until I was well into my 30s after reading others’ experiences, that I felt that perhaps I was actually struck by lightning.  After this experience however, I feel like the roots of my “independent-strong-willed-child” disposition (that I’ve carried well into my adulthood to now) and my more intuitive nature began.

Age 4 – 8 I had a few recurring dreams that I distinctly remember having MANY times in early childhood.  One of being in a large pit where dead bodies were stacked upon one another.  I was a living being however.  I would always wake up terrified after seeing another body fall into the pit and impact atop the stack of bodies.  Another recurring dream was of a girl with red hair turning into a cheeta and growling at me.  The other recurring dream was of me walking through a thick forest, then seeing a green “light being” appear who would watch me.

Age 5 – I have a strange memory of a possible traumatic death from a car accident.  The car accident did actually happen, but my memories do not match up with the events.  My father was driving, and apparently a man on a tractor in rural Iowa pulled out in front of the car, causing us to hit him, crunching the entire front end of the station wagon.  My memory, from being in the back seat was that at the point of impact, I saw my father crash forward in front of me, then slam back on his seat, and many long rivers of blood came over the back of the seat.  I then blacked out most likely for many hours.  I remember waking up at a gas station, seeing my mother, and asking her what happened.

“Your Grandma’s coming to get us.  Everyone is all right.”

No one had a scratch, and my father was just fine.  We do still have pictures of this car crash.

In my 20s I had a dream about this accident and then waking up in the same gas station, only to see a mangled body across the room, and my mother was behind me saying, “Over there is your old body.  We had to get you a new one.”

Age 6 – I met witches on my walk home from school in First Grade (my school was in the neighborhood).  We lived in a small Iowa town then (Nevada, IA).  On this walk home from school, two teenage girls walked with me for a while, and they told me “We’re Witches!”  “We can fly!”  As we were approaching my house they told me to go into the back yard and watch them fly over the neighbor’s rooftop.  I stood out in the back yard for maybe 5 minutes and then I saw each of these girls JUMPING over a roof (yes as if they were jumping over a hurdle in a relay race!), and landing on the ground behind bushes nearby.

Age 6 – Near abduction and a “soup dinner” in an abandoned house.   A friend of mine at school convinced me to get a ride home from school with his sister and her boyfriend.  They drive all over town before dropping me off at home.  I hear the girl say to her boyfriend who is driving, “I know you think he’s special and gifted, but we just can’t take him.”  A few days later this same school friend invites me to a house in the neighborhood for dinner with other kids.  It wasn’t very far, so I walked with him to the house, where an old woman was feeding maybe a dozen kids my age.  Tomato soup and crackers was all she served, and I did not like tomato soup, so I said I couldn’t eat it, and left to go home.  A couple of days later I told my mom about the lady who served soup to kids in the neighborhood.  We took a walk to the house, only to find that it was completely abandoned with windows cracked and broken. A large, old, broken, and dusty table and chairs could be seen through the front window.

Age 15 – October 12, 1984.  I am asleep and in a dream I experience a HUGE explosion (in the dream it seemed like a nuclear bomb as it was huge and loud and echoed all through my body).  In the dream I see a beach and some dune-buggies driving away quickly down the beach away from the explosion).  I wake up and see that the time is 3:10am.  The next day in the newspaper, I read of the Brighton Hotel Bombing in Brighton, England, where Margaret Thatcher was staying.  The newspaper I was reading reported the time of the bombing at approximately 3:09am on the 12th.  The town of Brighton, East Sussex lies right along the coast, and the hotel overlooked the beach.

Age 16 – I see a possible UFO.  My father and I are up late one summer night watching a movie on Cinemax (back in the early days of having Cable TV, MTV, etc.).  The power in our house and in all of the block goes out, and out our window in the sky we see a flashing red light blinking and descending in the sky, making a kind of “jingle bell” sound as the light blinked.  Once the “craft” or “light” stopped blinking and appeared that it landed about a mile away, our power came back on.

Age 18 or 19.  A bunch of friends and I were experimenting with energy fields and feeling the energy in our hands in the dark.  This turned into a more spooky experiment where we would play this “hand/energy game” and try to “take others’ energy” and push people away with just our energy fields.  One night when I was playing this game with friends, I decided to pull in all energy of love during the game. When I was putting my hands up to another friends hands, I looked into her eyes with this energy of total love in my heart.  She pulled away almost terrified, and later told me that when she looked at my eyes, she saw beams of white light coming out of my eyes.

Age 18 – I “felt” my first spirit of a person who was dead pass through me.  My friend Lisa, who was 16, died in a car accident tragically.  She actually had a huge crush on me while I was dating another girl (yes I dated girls then!).  After her funeral and burial, maybe a week or more after her death, I visited her grave to leave a flower and to tell her that I was so sorry.  After I visited the grave, and when I got back into my car, I felt this energetic breeze flow around and through my body, and there was an distinct smell of Lisa on my skin and around me, and I knew she was present.

I’ve had many more experiences – perhaps more than I can count or remember.  I’ve had “ghosts” or unknown entities scratch my leg in an old house in Fridley, Minnesota.  A strange, short being was thrown against a wall, out of the bed, by my then sleeping partner (who has no recollection of this).  Moreso lately, I have vivid dreams that often manifest in strange ways in the waking world.

In all, I believe we all should start talking to one another about these experiences.  I believe we may find that these “paranormal” experiences may be quite “normal” for everyone.

Oh..and did I mention I also snapped a picture of a possible Sasquatch/Bigfoot entity in 2008?  That one will have to wait, however.  it merits its own blog post (or more).

Leave a comment below if you’d like to share an experience!