Are you unsettled, frustrated, and stressed? Do you want something more from your life?
This desire comes in many forms: Physical symptoms of stress that distract us from their source. You’re not sleeping well, eating right, or you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
You have a growing sense of frustration with life. A sense of internal dis-ease. A restlessness you can't soothe.
That frustration is a longing to experience a deeper sense of connection and purpose in life.
Ignoring these experiences just makes them worse. Our souls feel constricted and squashed.
Do you have any of the experiences below?
- Your beloved journal sits half full and neglected for months.
- You'd really like to meditate, but keep hitting walls. Maybe you have ideas about what meditation is that just don't work for you.
- You consider yourself spiritual but not religious - which can make it hard to find a framework to help you figure out personal practices that work for you. Or even the idea of personal practice feels a little strange to you.
- You've had a spiritual practice for years, but something feels off, uncomfortable, no longer right.
Each of these experiences is a signal from your soul that something is out of alignment.
I've been there. I've been there so many times.
It’s time to grow your soul.
The Rev. Dr. A. Powell Davies said, “Life is just the chance to grow a soul.” While life is inviting you into – and indeed IS – practice all the time, your life and your soul will benefit from the thoughtful, gentle discovery of spiritual practices that work for you.
When you have a spiritual practice that works for you, you have more confidence and more trust that you can cope with the vagaries of life.
The mystery of spiritual practice is that it changes us when we’re not looking, and it changes us in ways we can’t predict. It isn’t transactional—if you sit on the cushion every day for a year, you get over your issues!—but consistent practice nonetheless opens our hearts, soothes our restless souls, and give us access to the depths of our own wisdom.
It’s also, literally, practice for the hard times. When life throws you a curveball, you want as much access to peace, wisdom, integrity, and compassion as you can get. When you practice spiritually, you make all of those things more accessible when you really need them.
As the Zen master Suzuki Roshi said, “Enlightenment is an accident. Practice makes us accident-prone.”
Grow Your Soul
To help you develop a spiritual practice that supports and enlivens your life, I’m offering Growing Our Souls, a month of active support for your personal spiritual practice through group conversations, email check-ins, and exercises designed to give you insight into what works for you.
Spiritual practice is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. It’s not even one-size-fits-most.
The practice that speaks to one person will bore another and perhaps even work against a third. That’s why we’ll cover a variety of techniques from secular philosophy, Unitarianism Universalism, Catholicism, Wicca, and other wisdom traditions.
But spiritual practice isn’t intellectual, which is where a lot of us get stuck. Spiritual practice requires practice. It requires you to try something, observe the results, and try again. It’s all an experiment, after all.
In Growing Our Souls you’ll have the opportunity to explore different spiritual practices in your daily life, then discuss your experience with a group and figure out next steps.
The conversation and the exercises you’ll do between them will teach you creative ways to get centered and to engage your own deepest, wisest self. You’ll connect with other seekers on the path of Spirit and wisdom.
You’ll learn to unlock channels of creativity you didn’t know you had and find that what comes through those channels is nothing less than the voice of Spirit, the power of your very own deepest, wisest self. Your very own divine power.
Growing Our Souls will help you make spiritual practice an intentional, supportive part of your life.
Who am I?
I have 30 years’ experience with spiritual practices of many kinds, which means I have 30 years’ experience with the frustrating sense of unease that suggests a different practice needs to come in. I have 30 years’ experience with the gentle persistence, the falling down and getting up of bringing myself to spiritual practice on a regular basis.
I also have 30 years’ experience of the joyful fruits of practice. My life, my connection to Spirit, and my relationships have deepened, opened, and included a lot more love when I’ve practiced regularly.
In addition, as a spiritual director, Wiccan priestess, and ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, I have mentored dozens of people as they explored, started, and tinkered with their own spiritual practices.
Between my personal experience of spiritual practice and my experience supporting others, I know one thing very clearly: spiritual practice emerges most fruitfully out of love, compassion, and gentleness.
What Do You Get?
Growing Our Souls is a month-long exploration of spiritual practice as it applies to you and to your life. Specifically, you’ll get:
4 90-minute group conversations
Recordings of all conversations delivered straight to your inbox
Suggestions to help you develop your own practice
Email support during the process
You can get this month of active support for your spiritual practice for only $120.
The Nuts and Bolts
Our time together will be at 5pm PT / 8pm ET on (click here to convert that to your timezone) four consecutive Tuesdays:
- June 22, 2016
- June 29, 2016
- July 6, 2016
- July 13, 2016
We’ll meet on Zoom, an online meeting platform. You’ll be able to click in through your computer or call in via a long-distance US telephone number. Details will be included in your welcome email and in the reminder emails you’ll get before each class.
What Others Have Said
What a blessing it has been to have Catharine as a spiritual companion these past several months! I greatly appreciate her compassionate spirit and rich spiritual grounding that includes practices from Jewish, Catholic, Sufi Muslim and Pagan traditions. Catharine is a gifted spiritual director who helps me more deeply experience and explore my connection to the Divine. As a result of her active listening and gentle probing, I have experienced a profound deepening of my spirituality. I enthusiastically recommend her to anyone looking for spiritual companionship and guidance.Karen Lee Scrivo, Bowie, MD
Catharine is my spiritual mentor and confidante. Her work and her preaching are infused with love and compassion, based in her personal experience but never presuming what another person’s experience is really like. She goes beyond acceptance and truly appreciates every individual and their unique story. When I need to be in a supremely safe place, Catharine is someone I will always turn to. Even when all I want to do is wallow in my own darkness, Catharine will hold that space but also somehow manages to inspire me to reconnect with the place in myself that knows I am loved. Catharine is the Love of God walking in the world, and reminds me all the time that Love is always there.Carol Brenneisen, Pittsburgh, PA
Excellent! I can’t wait to share this work with you.
Click the button below to sign up. (Please note: your credit card statement will say New Leaf Life Design.)$120
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a spiritual practice, anyway?
Very simply, practice is something you do regularly, with attention to this moment and this place, and with the intention of listening to your own deepest wisdom, to the voice of Spirit in your heart. At its best, practice enables you to live from the wisdom of your deepest, wisest self.
How much work will it be?
Building a personal practice is an experience of trial and error, observation, and recalibration. This course will help you identify places to start and learn to recognize which practices are working for you and how to adjust the ones that aren’t, but, as is true for many things, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
In addition to our four 90-minute conversations, which will be a mix of discussion, practice, and Q&A, I’ll provide you with worksheets and suggestions to help you apply those conversations to your own needs.
What if I have questions between times or about how I can apply what we’ve talked about to my own practice?
You’re welcome to email with me throughout the course.
Even better, we’ll have our own Facebook group! That way we can all talk together between classes.
The conversations are the scaffolding on which we hang the work, but putting things into practice is where the rubber meets the road. My goal is to provide you with a month of support along the way.
Can’t I do this on my own for free?
Of course! If you know what practices work best for you, or if you’re particularly good at exploration and committed experimentation, you can do this on your own.
I offer Growing Our Souls because I have found, personally, that many of us work best when we have a place to begin, when we have a framework to keep us connected, and when we have someone of whom we can ask questions.