Three Client Aspirations: Becoming selfish, spiritual and sensational
I believe the spiritual director’s role is helping clients become more selfish, spiritual, and sensational.
Becoming selfish is one of the most heretical and important steps anyone takes. How can this be? Here’s the twist: I’m thinking of selfishness as that capacity to look within and figure out what really matters to a person. This step requires the difficult, transformative shift of unplugging from the beliefs and perspectives of others. The paradox here is that once clients discover what matters, and what’s most true for them, then they are powerfully equipped to live authentically. And, it is out of our authenticity that we are best able to serve others: Authentic people have more of themselves to give. I think of this as “holy narcissism.” The question that invites clients into this aspiration is: What do you really want?
Becoming Spiritual is about learning to walk through the world with an awareness that we are Spirit. When we help clients realize they are Spirit, their inner world becomes more dynamic, and their outer world expands. Joel, who was embarking on a new business, had a disturbing dream about dying in a house fire. When he reframed the dream as the burning off of his old life, and the entering into a new identity in the world, his inner experience shifted from fear to excitement. When clients are able to intentionally claim their spiritual nature they plug themselves into an amazing power grid. The question that moves us toward this aspiration is: What is the Divine calling me to be and do?
Becoming sensational actually is a two-part aspiration, given that this word can have two distinct meanings. In the first sense, becoming sensational is about helping clients tune into their bodies, in order to tune into their physical, mental, and spiritual sensations. Both the inner and the outer world become more magical through these sensations. These are the feelings and intuitions that require presence and a slowing down to notice. These sensations are filled with guidance and wisdom. The question leading to this aspiration is: What am I feeling and intuiting?
The second way of becoming sensational is helping clients own the ways in which they are brilliant. Again, this has often been considered heretical in our society. Claiming our brilliance brings courage, optimism, untapped potentials, and new possibilities into our lives. It’s the opposite of being a victim. It grows out of the awareness that I can choose to create a new and dynamic life. The question that opens us to this aspiration is: What do I love to do that uniquely serves others?
By becoming more selfish, spiritual, and sensational clients become alive. The purpose of this aliveness is not just to feel good. Aliveness is contagious, and this aliveness is further activated when it is shared with the people closest to us, with our community, and with our planet.
One of my favorite Howard Thurman quotations is one I often share with clients, and it captures the invitations to become selfish, spiritual, and sensational:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”