ABOUT HELEN CLEVELAND
I have been a spiritual seeker all my life, though it took me a while to name it as such. My first organic experience as a spiritual director took place in a taxicab, driving from LaGuardia airport into Manhattan. I was in my mid-twenties. The taxi driver was a woman who proceeded to tell me all about her son, how strong, handsome and successful he was. She then offered that he had committed a murder ten years previously and was wanted by the FBI. She went on to mention his hiding location within a ten-block radius in the Bronx. Either, I could turn her into the authorities, which, given both my family of origin’s law and order emphasis, and her name identification and cab number sitting on the dashboard, would have been easy, or listen closely to a mother’s disillusion and despair about her situation. I chose the latter. It was only many years later that I understood this encounter as akin to Spiritual Direction.
My life includes choral singing, cooking, reading, travel, and a commitment to personal growth and conscious living, including walking the labyrinth, and working out, which has become a meditative practice. My daily life in South Minneapolis includes parenting twin teenagers and a cat named Jupiter, giving me plenty of fertile ground with which to continue my own journey of awakening, and help you with yours.
- Certified Spiritual Director, Sojouners Institute
- Certified Enneagram Consultant, Olive Branchways
- Enneagram studies with David Daniels, Terry Saracino, Marion Gilbert, Peter O’Hanrahan, Anne Mureé, Beatrice Chestnut, and Renée Rosario
- Coursework at United Theological Seminary
- Clinical Pastoral Education – Fairview Southdale Hospital
- Respecting Choices: Advance Care Planning Course, Facilitator Certification
- Psychic Development and Chakras with Cindy Lehman
- M.A. University of Minnesota, Architectural History
- B.A. Dartmouth College, Art History and Human Geography
- Member of Spiritual Directors International
- Member of the International Enneagram Association
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality focuses on one’s personal experience of that deep pilot light within each one of us that is our life force. Those who seek out this work acknowledge and honor this energy as greater than any individual and yet inclusive of the inner life and the great cosmos. This life force is often referred to as God, the Divine, Allah, Great Spirit, Higher Power, the One, the Source, Soul, Holy Spirit, Breath, or Ground of our Being.
What is Spiritual Direction?
How does Spiritual Direction differ from therapy? Therapy explores why you are where you are and how you got there. Spiritual Direction is soul work that moves you forward into being your best self in this time and space. Therapy often precedes spiritual direction.
What is Spiritual Life Coaching?
Spiritual Life Coaching is a more active approach about living into a more expansive present and future. Spiritual Direction often feels like exploring the unknown while Spiritual Life Coaching brings clarity and action to agreed-upon outcomes.
My practice merges these two processes by combining Spiritual Direction and the Enneagram as a coaching tool.
A WORD ABOUT
Spiritual Directors are ethically bound to confidentiality. This ensures that clients feel safe and can express their deepest feelings and most important life experiences. There are, however, some important exceptions to this statement:
- I must report any and all suspected child abuse, dependent adult or elder abuse.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to either themselves or others, I must notify authorities and the intended victim.
- If a client is in danger of completing a suicide, I will make every effort to get that person to safety.
On a less dire note, I attend to my own growth and practice by participating in ongoing education, group supervision, and meeting with a spiritual director.