Several years ago, six-ish, I think I don’t really remember. Years ago, I started making myself available to artists, to ministers, to entrepreneurs, folks who had worked in fields that I had worked in, and I started doing so for free. And I wasn’t calling it coaching. At the time, I was just making actual meetings to answer questions, and they were questions that had been coming up. And if you’ve been in an industry for long enough, this happens to you, as folks start asking you, Hey, how did you get there? Or what did you do about this? Or hate if x happens? Do you have a solution for scenario questions begging for some sort of wisdom from someone who’s further down the line?
So it’s a little bit natural. And it was at the time, it felt like a very natural outpouring of me being in music and art and in religious practice. for a really long time, folks started asking questions. I started making it a serious thing by setting meetings, now called coaching. At the same time, a number of those same folks were asking a lot of questions about religious practice. And it wasn’t just a matter of, “How do I build a church?” It was a matter of these things I used to do in my life that had me feeling connected to myself, to God, and to the people around me. These religious practices don’t work the way they used to, or I don’t feel as connected to those kinds of things, spiritual dilemmas, not always even dilemmas or crises, just hangups, and stalls the same way that folks who get stalled or hung up in art practices, folks are getting stalled and hung up in religious practices. And again, all that makes just some basic sense. If you’ve been around long enough, you end up having these conversations. Nowadays, as I look back over the course of the last, maybe a decade or so, there’s a bit of a trend, I’m noticing, and I think it’s associated with or at least it is pointed to by the rise of coaches and spiritual directors. So, I function as a coach. And as a spiritual director. It’s actually most of what I do with my time now is that I’m hired to provide coaching and spiritual direction. And I don’t think it’s just because I’ve been around and I have something to bring to the table. I think there’s something happening. Culturally, institutionally, societally, maybe there’s some sort of spiritual movement. I don’t like to dig into those terms all that often.
But there’s something more going on than just that. I have been around long enough, and I’m taking on more and more of these clients. I think there’s something in the water. I think there’s something in the culture. In fact, I think it’s the very same thing that propelled me and the small team of folks that I work with to launch this podcast; it is the desire to navigate wisely and well. Waters we just aren’t sure of and don’t feel confident in. Now, some of those waters are institutional and cultural, some of those waters are very personal, they’re interpersonal, they’re actually deeply, individually personal. And as I read the lay of the land, in all of those spaces, there is an increasing number of people, or so it seems, who simply don’t feel equipped, in and of themselves, much less in relationship to the institutional, cultural spaces, they’re used to trusting, they don’t feel equipped or prepared to navigate. What comes next. The mistrust of the tools we were using internally, institutionally, and culturally? Well, I think you are as familiar as I am with that mistrust, as it was projected in all kinds of critical criticisms and critiques, and most of them, or at least a lot of them were, were spot on and really helpful, that there was a critique of, of institutional religion, a critique of higher education, there was a critique of even mental health practices, there was a critique of interpersonal and individual religious practice, there was a critique of the economy, there’s a critique of politics, everything it seemed, was on the table for critique everything it seemed, was being questioned, is this viable? Does this do what we want and need it to do for us? Now, one of my favorite pieces of cultural criticism and cultural wisdom comes from Andy Crouch, who says, and I love this, that the only cure for bad culture or for lesser culture is to make a better culture. And I think that’s where the real fear comes in about tomorrow. Is it because what if the question isn’t a matter of what comes next? And that we sit and wait for something to be revealed? What if the moment is something different and that in this moment, as we’ve grown disillusioned with the way our institutions and practices interpersonally, culturally, and otherwise have worked? What if the question isn’t? Let’s wait until the next thing shows up. What if the question actually is – What will we make for tomorrow? What will we make with what we have on hand? What will we make from what we’ve experienced with what we know? That we can trust? Tomorrow? That, I would suggest, is a far more terrifying question. Because it puts the onus on us. And if we’ve learned anything, collectively, we’ve learned that we just can’t make it on our own. Especially, especially if it’s not a matter of executing someone else’s plans. If the next chapter in our shared history really is what I think it is, which is a time and a season in which we get to invent and reinvent and try and explore and experiment and relearn if it really is on us to build a future we can’t see from here, then we have to know we can’t do that on our own. And so I love that I get to offer myself as a spiritual director. And as a coach. For those who are maybe less initiated in these terms, spiritual direction, as I practice, is mostly about helping you as best I can hear or see, and no God in your own life, no agenda, no platform, and our goals outside of you, having a clearer and more competent sense of God. In you. Coaching tends to be a little bit more goal-oriented. Maybe there’s a specific thing you want to achieve, or maybe something you want to quit and stop achieving. Or you’ve got a project you want to start or a specific way you want to be making or living differently. And if either one of those triggers something in you or stirs something in you, reach out, not just because you need it, but because maybe you do. But if you do, it won’t just be so that you feel more settled into your own life. As you’re living, it’ll be because, and I don’t think I’m overstating this when I said it’ll be also because the future kind of hinges on it. And I’d love to help you build that.
Links For Justin:
NEW Single – Let Go
NEW Music – Sliver of Hope
NEW Music – The Dood and The Bird