Preparing for Spiritual Direction
a guide to self-reflection

Sometimes you'll come to spiritual direction knowing exactly what you want to bring. Other times you'll wonder what there might be to talk about.

Either way it's helpful to do some self-reflection before we meet. Taking a bit of time preparing for spiritual direction will enable our time together to be fruitful for you.

Suggestions for fruitful self-reflection

A day or two beforehand, invest an hour in preparing for spiritual direction. Look back over what has happened in your life over the past few weeks. As you begin I suggest that you take a few minutes in silence to prepare yourself to be spiritually alert and receptive. Read through the questions thoughtfully, and respond to those which seem to open up a window of awareness to what is happening in your soul.

Questions for self-reflection

  • Review the broad stokes of what you've experienced and learned; what stands out to you?
  • How would you describe your relationship with God at the moment?
  • How open and responsive to God have you been lately, and what has affected this?
  • What things has the Lord been speaking into your life and what has your response been like?
  • What real life issues would you like to bring into a process of discernment or guidance?

(You'll find additional questions in the online form below.)

Reflect digitally

A second option is to reflect with the help of the online form you see below. When you submit this you will receive an email with your responses. I will receive your reflection as well which will orient me to what's happening in your life before we meet.

Why would I use this form? This means of reflection offers a concrete goal as you prepare for our sessions. There may also be times when you think it valuable to inform me before we meet of things which are going on in your life. You may prefer instead to draw from the questions you find below and to record your thoughts offline in your journal. Then it's helpful to bring your journal with you (which is always a good practice, by the way).

Preparing for spiritual direction will be fruitful in many ways, even beyond the benefits to our session together. May you be blessed with God's presence and guidance as you take time to reflect on your life with God!

Spiritual tuneup
If it's been a while since you've reflected upon your life, check out the spiritual tuneup as another source of inspiration.

Questions for Self-Reflection
Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
First Name*
Last Name*
E-mail Address*
If I think in terms of an image, music, colour, or a word or phrase, I'd describe my life lately as
These experiences, events, relationships, etc. have communicated a sense of God's presence with me
These experiences, events, relationships, etc. have contributed to a sense of God's absence
I am currently tending to my spiritual life in the following ways
These things have helped (or hindered) my pursuit of God
I've sensed God speaking these things into my life lately
This is also important to note

Please enter the word that you see below.


* With acknowledgment of the Henri Nouwen Society
from whom I've adapted these questions.

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