Reflections for the inner life.
by Hayne Steen
There are seasons when life that can be extremely intense. It does not matter whether you are an entrepreneur, a pastor, a first responder, a psychotherapist, a missionary, a pilot or an oncologist.
Not every profession shares the same exact kind or threat level of trauma but each of those mentioned above brings with it the likelihood of experiencing some form of trauma, whether actual or vicarious. And even with a well designed and executed plan for self care, our bodies, minds, and souls can still experience significant break down from the prolonged stress.
A Soul Care Intensive is simply a guided way of helping your body to slow down, to relinquish being so necessary for a period of time, helping your mind to be at rest, helping your heart enter into an open and spacious time of listening, and for your soul to be replenished.
If there is anything intense about a Soul Care Intensive, it is the detoxing that occurs when we lay down the many forms of busyness that have become so intoxicating. Purging all those poisonous patterns can feel rather intense because a body in motion wants to stay in motion.
We have all become addicted to many forms of busyness and accomplishment, pointing to impressive outcomes that do not and will not satisfy the soul.
Busyness is not bad. Toxic busyness will corrode us from the inside out while everyone cheers us on from the sidelines to keep going.
The gift of a Soul Care Intensive is the opportunity to unlearn that toxic pattern and re-learn what it can mean to slow down, to truly be fully present with ourself and with God.
One wise counselor in my life described, “Christians have plenty of well formed Orthodoxy (knowledge ABOUT God) and scads of Orthoproxy (service FOR God) but we are starved of Othopathy (experience WITH God).
This same wise sage went on to tell me, “If we had more experience with God, it might actually inform what we believe about God and what we agree to do for God.”
In essence, we all need something like a Soul Care Intensive from time to time to help us attend to those easily malnourished dimensions of our lives.
Who is the ideal candidate for a Soul Care Intensive? YOU.
If you have read along this far, and if any of it resonates, you are likely the ideal candidate.
So what does a Soul Care Intensive look like?
A Soul Care Intensive most often kicks off on a Monday morning and wraps up on Friday afternoon. We meet for 3 hours every morning for five days and you are provided with some self guided spiritual exercises every afternoon with the evenings to yourself, by yourself.
Prior to the intensive you will be sent several assessments to complete, along with some short reading, audio and video to digest. You will also want to explore some form of inexpensive lodging like an AirBNB which there are many of in our nation’s oldest city. Travel, lodging and food are not included in the Soul Care Intensive fee, so we can help you consider where you might like to stay in order to have the most restful and life giving experience while you are here.
On the back end of a Soul Care Intensive, it is my practice to schedule at least one follow up session to check in with each retreatant one month following their intensive experience. Many often schedule monthly spiritual direction that we can facilitate using an online video conferencing platform.
Elbow Tree Christian Counseling