My clients sometimes ask, “What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?” This is an important question, and the answer should frankly be nuanced in every conversation, because everyone comes from a unique experience with religion, and often with mystical or spiritual experiences as well. Some of us have experienced religion in a positive light, finding meaning, connection, and belonging in religion. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced religion as something rigid and dogmatic, often even traumatizing. Often we turn to spirituality, the less structured, more mystical sibling of religion to connect with something greater. The way I approach spiritual fitness is all about meeting you where you are, and helping you to get to the relationship with the sacred that is right for you.
This will look different to everyone, as it should!
My Background & Approach
I am an ordained Interspiritual Minister, which means that I've received years of focused training in seminary to be able to responsibly meet you where you are in your own relationship with religion and spirituality, and can support you in moving toward the kind of connection you want with the Sacred, on your own terms. I have decades of experience respectfully studying, training, and practicing in multiple religious and spiritual systems. Primarily, I have a strong relationship with my Jewish heritage, and I am a dedicated student practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. I also identify as agnostic- I don't claim to "know" anything definitive about the divine.
Supporting you in coming to an empowered, direct, mature, healing relationship with religion and spirituality is my goal when it comes to spiritual fitness.
Having a spiritual experience doesn't mean that you have to be religious.
The truth is the line between religion and spirituality can be very fine and there are various types of spiritual experiences; for example, there are non-religious spiritual experiences and religious-spiritual experiences.
Non-religious spiritual experiences are commonly described as events that exceed our human comprehension of our physical world. These can be experienced as miracles, mystical or psychedelic experiences, and moments of profound personal or collective transformation.
Religious-spiritual experiences are when people feel they have a direct or personal experience (or newfound relationship) with the divine. These direct experiences may be made sense of through filters that are informed by religion, cultural experiences, personal studies, or ancestral remembrance.
Both of these general forms of spiritual experience are valid, and the line between them can be fine. Whether you are comfortable with religion, averse to religion, skeptical of spirituality, or allergic to woo, you have a right to mystical, sacred experiences, and deserve the support of someone who is willing to meet you where you are.
Pillars of Embodied Spirituality
Connecting to the Sacred
Rites of Passage
Whether you’re religious, agnostic, or atheist, I have no desire to change you. I will meet you with an open mind to understand both your beliefs and what you’re curious about, and, from there, we will deepen your spiritual connection with whatever is sacred to you.
The things that we do every day forms the building blocks of our life. By having small, daily (or weekly) rituals, we can repattern our lives to focus more on what our true priorities are and, therefore, bring more intention and connection to all aspects of our lives.
There are many important initiation points throughout our lifecycle. If you’re getting married, having children, stepping into a new role of leadership, or grieving a loss, we can create authentic rituals that are unique to you to honor who you have been and prepare you for whom you are becoming.
Self Love • Heart-Centered Decision-Making • Journey Mapping • Personal Ritual Design
Healthy Habits • Personal Change Management • Life Design • Journaling • Gratitude
Ceremony Design • Honoring Life Cycles • Self Preparation • Intentional Living
Religious Leaders ≠ Spiritual Companions
Many of us living today have some level of religious wounding. Whether we had negative experiences within organized religion as a child, felt isolated due to a lack of religious connection, or anything in between, it's important to clarify the different kind of support that we can receive as adults choosing a relationship with the sacred on our own terms.
WORKING WITH RELIGIOUS LEADERS...
You generally know what to expect, and trust that your religious counselor has received some formal religious training or denominational education.
Operating within an organized religion can create the opportunity for accountability for ethical misconduct.
If you move away from home and want to stay consistent with your religion, then you can usually find a similar place of worship somewhere else in the world.
Wisdom turns into dogma, and it can become rigid and sometimes irrelevant; especially when you're trying to focus on your multidimensional fitness strategy by serving your spiritual self, building upon your physical fitness, and strengthening your mental fitness.
Too often there is no accountability when it comes to ethical misconduct in religious communities, and, therefore, the integrity of the entire organized religion becomes untrustworthy.
The same religious denomination in a new location does not always guarantee an experience of trust or a connection with the religious leader or religious counselor of that community.
WORKING WITH A SPIRITUAL COMPANION...
Your understanding of the world can shape the relationship between you and your spiritual companion or spiritual counselor, thereby allowing for critical thinking and challenging norms.
The relationship you cultivate with a spiritual companion or spiritual counselor should be rooted in shared values that everyone can be accountable to uphold. These spiritual beliefs should also be part of a multidimensional fitness plan or holistic systems coaching plan as your spirit is equally as important as your physical fitness or mental fitness.
Our interconnected digital age allows us to connect as often as we want from anywhere in the world.
Spiritual companions and spiritual counselors do not necessarily have any formal religious training and, sometimes, spiritual companions and spiritual counselors can create their own version of reality that can confuse or distort the reality of people with whom they work.
Spiritual companions and spiritual counselors without lineage or organized religion can cause harm within their own "reality bubble."
Conspirituality is a perfect example of these dynamics at play.
Do you have more questions about how spiritual counseling fits within holistic systems coaching?
Spiritual Counseling FAQs
Holistic Systems Coaching Includes Spiritual Counseling
~ Ordained Interspiritual Minister & Authentic Tantra Practitioner ~
As an ordained Interspiritual Minister and Authentic Tantra practitioner, I have been trained to work with people of many different backgrounds, and, therefore, I'm capable of pulling from a deep well of spiritual practices and spiritual principles that I employ in all of my work as a spiritual companion and spiritual counselor. If you want references and receipts for the spiritual theories, spiritual frameworks, and spiritual practices that I'll be sharing with you, then please let me know - I've got them.
~ Spiritual Ethics ~
I have lineages, spiritual mentors, and spiritual teachers to whom I am accountable. Whenever I have an ethical question or a spiritual concern, then I know who to turn to, and I trust that I will receive the guidance that I need to be a trustworthy spiritual guide to and for others. Confident humility is an important balance for me as a spiritual counselor- I will always acknowledge when I don't know something, and I will always be curious to grow.
~ Prioritizing Our [inter]Connectedness ~
I love meeting people where they are: literally, I work with people seeking spiritual guidance from a spiritual counselor or spiritual companion virtually around the world. I also love meeting people where they are in terms of their religious background, spiritual background, intellectual interests, and mystical experiences. When we discuss spirituality and religion in our Holistic Systems Coaching sessions, you can trust that I will never impose my own religious beliefs or spiritual beliefs on you, and I will instead come from a place of sincere curiosity to support you in your unique spiritual journey to reconnect with whatever is sacred to you.
ARE YOU READY TO DEVELOP YOUR SPIRITUAL FITNESS?
SPIRITUAL COUNSELING FAQs
+ How does holistic systems coaching or spiritual coaching differ from life coaching?
Holistic systems coaching is different from spiritual coaching or life coaching because holistic systems coaching works on improving and connecting all aspects of your life (e.g., physical fitness, mental fitness, and spiritual fitness) because you are a whole human being.
+ Will holistic systems coaching and spiritual counseling make me change my beliefs?
Quick answer: No. I am committed to meeting you where you are with your religious beliefs or spirituality and helping you get to where you want to be in your spiritual journey. I will share ideas with you, and we can have deep conversations about whatever big questions you may have (e.g., what does God even mean?), but I will NEVER expect, demand, or require that you adopt any spiritual beliefs or religious beliefs that do not feel right to you.
+ Will my spiritual beliefs change while participating in holistic systems coaching or spiritual counseling?
Maybe, although, your willingness or desire to change your perspective on your spiritual beliefs will be (and always is) entirely up to you. It's natural, for example, for our spiritual beliefs to change as we grow and learn. We are always evolving as humans! For full transparency, here are some of the key values that I hold in all of my work as a spiritual companion and spiritual counselor:
+ Common Sense
Spiritual Fitness should have practical application. Spiritual fitness allows us to be more connected, more compassionate, and more discerning in how we move through the world. As your spiritual counselor and spiritual companion, I won't present any ideas that don't already make sense to me, and, likewise, I'll trust your common sense to guide you as well. I welcome your feedback expressing ideas and feelings like, "that doesn't map to my understanding of spirituality," and, of course, I will always be curious to develop some shared reality around how to make sense of complex spiritual ideas.
+ Good Science
To be spiritually fit means that you have clarity and confidence around your own spiritual beliefs, which, can be strengthened and further developed by what we learn from science. The old story of science and religion being incompatible is over: we can transcend and include all the wealth of the knowledge of humanity and integrate it into our relationship with everything that's bigger than us.
+ Open Hearts
If there's one dogma in my life, it's to love everyone (doesn't mean we have to like everyone though). I will meet you with an open heart and by the time we've worked together for a while, my hope is that your heart will be more open too. We need more compassion and empathy to drive our actions in the world, and that is my ultimate goal within the dimension of spiritual fitness.