By Gloria McArter
Gloria is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Marriage, Couple, and Family therapist who often describes her work in helping others as that of a Spirit Guide. She provides trusting support for the opening of and connection with the Divine energy of the universe. From this experience of spiritual presence, she encourages reflection, conversation, and the expression of freedom to stimulate physical, emotional, and mental health.
The following is a summary of my Spirit at Work luncheon presentation, sponsored by the Workplace Centre for Spiritual and Ethical Development www.workplacecentre.org
As you read my words, you are opening to the experience of a perspective that may, or may not, resonate for you. Thank-you for being witness to me and my work as I take it to another level. My work as a clinical counsellor, marriage and family therapist, mentor, and guide for Spirit Energy moves me to more depth, width and overarching expanse of purpose, a gift that I now want to share with others. .
From his book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, David Whyte writes, and I summarize:
Work seems never-ending only because, like life, it is a pilgrimage, a journey in which we progress not only through the world but through stages of understanding. At its simplest, good work is work that makes sense, and that grants sense and meaning to the one who is doing it and to those affected by it…In good work that is a heartfelt expression of ourselves, we necessarily put our very identities to hazard. Perhaps it is because we know, in the end, we ARE our gift to others and the world.
My pilgrimage, my journey, is, I know, similar to that of others who are moving through the stages of understanding. In the home of my mother’s womb, I was attempting to gain some understanding by asking curious questions about what is happening on the outside. Metaphorically and metaphysically, I was taking my essence to the Next Step: wanting to find meaning and willing to explore uncertainty, the unknown.
My knowledge, my wisdom, and my style of challenging myself were awakened. I yearned for freedom, the freedom described by the poet David Whyte who writes that freedom is the spiritual longing for belonging. I was on a quest to free the energy within, to free my breath, my spirit – spirit from the Latin spiritus meaning breath. When I was free of the confines of the womb, I wanted to honor the Energy of Spirit by expressing MY energy, MY passion, MY love of self, others and the world.
Other physical bodies, imprisoned by their fears, attempted to block my quest. From their perspective, they believed they were doing good. They were intent to meet their needs for power and control, for superiority, for the lessening of their fear, for a healing of their emotional pain. What I wanted to feel was joy, happiness, freedom, love. My addictions and the resulting risky and dangerous behavior mesmerized me into believing that my deep crevasse of emptiness was filled.
I attached to spirit in the sanctity of my church. Here I asked for support, not from a God who resembled the paternal and maternal symbols of my pain, my loneliness, my disconnect, but from a God who I felt and what I felt in my willingness to be open, to be vulnerable, to be seen through my shame. Today, I find courage in knowing that for me, God is the Spirit Energy present in the universe that breathes, and present in my mind and body and of all that is part of this breathing universe.
In my teens, I felt the spirit Energy as sadness. Through the veil of tears, I would walk for hours with no person beside me, yet not alone. I would ask questions of the heart that helped me attune to the felt-sense of the Spirit. Many tears and years later, I listen more intently as Spirit invites me to open the gifts so lovingly given.
How am I honoring the gifts of the Spirit? What messages in my body tell me I am opening the flow of this giving? Daily in my work as a counsellor and mentor, I hear the Spirit Energy wanting to be invited in, to awaken the gifts bestowed as an endowment. Where in your work do you find evidence of the Spirit?
This has been a long and circuitous journey. As it continues, I am thankful that the express lane is so jammed. This gives me the freedom to choose other routes – unusual, uncertain, and awesome. Having more time on my pth, I have had the opportunity to design my purpose statement: I Inspire Courage and Support Others in their Freedom to be Authentic, Worthy, and Creative. The word courage is from the French coeur meaning “heart”. Brene Brown speaks of wholehearted people as living from a deep sense of their worthiness, believing they are worthy of love and belonging.
At this seasoned stage in my life, I can offer my purpose statement as a gift to the world for it makes sense to me and gives me meaning. However, I can only do this with my own authenticity when I continue to gift the courage, support, freedom to myself. I am with Spirit Energy and I let Spirit Energy lead me into my vulnerability, the essence of who I am. Yes, I have freedom for choice; however, freedom is only true with responsibility. Freedom does not mean getting all that I want. It means being who I want to be while still accountable to the witness of a Loving Supportive Energy .
Ask yourself those curious questions, an example as follows:
How does my body feel when my blood is oxygenated by breath?
What is the experience for me to take a deep breath into my body and to feel the
connection of being with you in this moment?
How is this “being” with the felt-sense in my body?
How do I know when my head and heart are connected and what are the benefits?
What does the listening within tell me about the gift(s) I have?
How do I want to gift my Beingness in the world, as an honor to the Spirit Energy?
In this exploration and self-reflection you are with your courage and you are taking your next step. The meaning of your words and actions are the presence of the Spirit Energy.
By Gloria McArter