Personal Spiritual Deepening
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of theirLeading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog and is one of the social media coordinators for the Shalem Institute Facebook page.
In looking at the Shalem calendar I see that a new Personal Spiritual Deepening Program (PSDP) began last weekend in this area. Every time I teach this program I am struck to the core with the word “personal” in the title.
The program is approximately seven months long because it takes about that amount of time to change old habits and form new ones. PSDP has many wonderful things about it, including the support and community the whole group receives from journeying together with others who are intent on deepening their relationship to that which is holy. Community provides so much fodder for growth.
But, I think one place where grace happens in a powerful way is when the people in the class have the aha moment that this journey is personal, that it is about the work we do on our personal journey to open up and meet God in every moment. We are buoyed, nurtured, listened to, and held up by our community (and we need that), but when we commit personally to doing the work, the gates burst open.
By the end of the program people are different because they’ve been given the support and nurture to take the personal responsibility they need in order to create something new and beautiful for themselves.
Blessings on the new PSDP class. May you find your wings!
This is not easy work. Do you have suggestions or prayers for this group or others on this journey?