Wisdom & Healing
It has been quite a while since I’ve posted here, as several anxious emailers have recently reminded me. Going almost a month without posting is like an eternity in blogger-time! I’ve been keeping busy with my counseling practice – I left my salaried job back in August and I’m now self-employed on a full-time basis. I’m making the adjustment from having a regular weekly paycheck to having an income that rises and falls from week to week. I’m learning some deep lessons about my true source of security: not a job, not my clients, not my ability to attract business – my true source of security is the Divine Beloved. God alone is my Source of security and supply.
If God has truly called me to this counseling practice (as I believe), then it follows that God wants me to be successful at it. Not just financially, but in other ways as well. The sense of fulfillment that comes when I’m able to truly help a client. The sense that I’m no longer just dreaming about having my own counseling practice, I’m actually living that dream.
Several books have been helpful to me in making this adjustment, and I plan to write about them soon. One of them is 48 Days to the Work You Love, by Dan Miller. Among other things, this book was helpful in guiding me to clarify my vision and construct a Mission Statement, not just for my business but for my life as a whole. Miller recommends making a list of each of these components, then integrating them into your own Personal Mission Statement:
Skills and interests
Values, dreams, and passions
My primary skills and interests are counseling, writing, and leading workshops. The personality traits I listed are compassion, warmth, and humor. And my values, dreams, and passions, while many, can be boiled down to two broad categories: Wisdom and Healing.
I have long been a student of the ancient Wisdom traditions, primarily Sufi and Christian mysticism (see my blogpost for August 9th on how I integrate the two traditions). I am drawn to ancient texts and “lost gospels” like the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas. I am fascinated by the archetypes that surface in dreams, myths, and Tarot cards. I am interested in esoteric teachings and interfaith dialogue, in the common thread of Wisdom that runs through all the great religious traditions of the world.
My training to be a Cherag (minister) in the Sufi Order International is rooted in this love of Wisdom, which is beautifully expressed in the Service of Universal Worship, in which candles are lit and scriptures are read from each of the major religions of the world. My year-long training will soon be coming to an end: I am traveling to Sarasota, Florida, on October 28 for the final week-long intensive, and I will be fully ordained as a Cherag on November 4th.
Recently I have been integrating the Wisdom traditions into my counseling practice, through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). This is a form of therapy that is rooted in ancient Buddhist teachings and practices of mindfulness. It’s a truly effective way to help clients deal with anxiety, stress, even physical difficulties like chronic pain.
My interest in Healing goes back many years, and I’ve been involved in a number of healing ministries. I’m a firm believer in the healing power of prayer. I am currently ordained as a Conductor in the Sufi Healing Order, which means I am authorized to conduct the Sufi Healing Circle, a beautiful ritual of healing prayer. And I view my work as a counselor, even the work I do with court-mandated evaluations, as a form of healing.
So here is my Personal Mission Statement, integrating my skills and interests, my personality traits, and my deep passions for Wisdom and Healing:
My mission is to be a Cherag (minister), a light of divine Wisdom, and to be a Conductor of divine Healing in the lives of many – through counseling, writing, and teaching; with mindfulness, compassion, warmth, and humor.
I invite you to craft your own Personal Mission Statement and to share it with us in the “Comments” section of this post.